Filed under: AIG, democrats, financial crisis, housing crisis, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, mortgage crisis, politics | Tags: Bill Clinton, democrats, financial crisis, mortgage crisis
The fallout from our current mortgage crisis has been chilling to watch. The names appearing in our headlines are big ones. Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, AIG, Lehman Brothers… longstanding giants that we had assumed to be permanent fixtures in the financial industry are suddenly falling like so many colossal dominoes. Still more are expected to in the near future.
So just where and when did this all start? The answers are actually quite simple but some of you might not like them:
Talk show host and “equal opportunity offender” Neal Boortz sums up the situation on his website:
1. Almost all of the financial problems we see today are based on bad mortgage lending. That would be lending money to people to buy homes who didn’t qualify for a loan.
2. The Democrats, under Clinton, strengthened a government-created monster called the “Community Reinvestment Act.” This law was then used by “activists” and “community organizers” (like Obama?) to coerce lending institutions to make these bad loans … millions of them.
3. Now we see what happens when political “wisdom” supplants good loan underwriting. When private financial institutions are virtually forced to make loans to people with a bad credit and job history .. this is what you get. Enjoy it.
That’s what it comes down to folks… the current chaos in the mortgage industry is the direct result of the policies of Democrats and our former Do-gooder-in-Chief. These are the fruits of government-sponsored liberalism.
For those who may be bothered at that pronouncement, here’s a deep dark secret… I was once a liberal myself. We’re talking 20 years ago when I was just a young hare. In fact, a lot of us conservatives were liberals when we were young. We saw suffering and injustice in the world, we got passionate about it and we wanted it fixed. Nothing wrong with that. The problem occurs when we naively look to our government to fix it.
That’s when the real fun begins… when you first utter those six magic words “There ought to be a law…” Once you say that, 500+ lawyers in Washington perk up. That can never end well.
And that’s exactly what has happened here. Activists got fired up over what they viewed as unfair standards for home loans. Washington got involved. Laws were passed. Banks were pressured or sometomes forced into making loans to people who couldn’t pay them back. Banks went belly-up when those people didn’t pay them back.
The world doesn’t run on good intentions. Leaving your problems in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats will always ultimately make matters worse. Every single time. Washington will only become more powerful and you more helpless to forces beyond your control. You can learn that now and stop voting for candidates who promise to right all the wrongs in your life or you can learn it later. But trust me, you will learn it… if you are paying attention.
Filed under: democrats, economy, GDP, liberal media, media bias, MSM | Tags: democrats, economy, GDP, liberal media, media bias, MSM
In case you haven’t heard, the economy was up in the second quarter. The latest reports say it grew at a 1.9 percent annual rate — double what it was in the first quarter. So how does the MSM decide to report this? Here are some samples of the latest encouraging headlines:
- Unemployment at 4-year high
- Economy Loses 51000 Jobs in July
- Economy running out of steam
- Economy grows, but warnings sound
- US economy expanded less than forecast in Q2
- United States economy shrinks for first time since 2001
- US Recession May Have Begun in Last Quarter of 2007
- Report: GDP Growth Is Stagnating
- US economy slows, report shows
All this spin is making me dizzy.
One facet of the report that really excited the media was the fact that the numbers for Q4 of last year were revised down to -0.2%. AHA! A CONTRACTION! If only we had followed that with another dip in Q1 of 2008 we would have been able to call this puppy an official RECESSION! Damn, we were so CLOSE!
The other cause for MSM giddiness came with the the jobless data. 51,000 jobs were lost in July — the “highest in 4 years”. But what is not being emphasised is that this was considerably less than the 75,000 that were forecast by economists (which, coincidentally is the number of miles that would be taken up if you put these “experts” end to end).
But you don’t have to see a silver lining if you don’t want to. I can already hear some of you: “WELL [snort], the only reason the GDP GREW was because if the STIMULUS package.” Yes folks… that’s why it’s CALLED a stimulus package. It stimulates SPENDING. But if you want to see a half-empty glass, who am I to stop you?
Incidentally the headache I had this morning is gone… but that’s only because of the ASPIRIN I took. Without THAT it would still be here and furthermore I’m sure when the ASPIRIN wears off my headache will be back WORSE THAN EVER… Get off with your gloomy selves already.
But for those who insist on being unhappy and believing all the doomsday drivel, I have a catchy little tune for you. Feel free to join the chorus of the new Democrat and MSM theme song (after clicking the link, hit “Play” to hear the song).
Enjoy your weekend, folks! And spend some money for God’s sake.
Filed under: democrats, energy crisis, gas prices, Nancy Pelosi, politics | Tags: democrats, energy crisis, Nancy Pelosi, oil crisis, Politico
Ever wanted to peek into the head of Nancy Pelosi — just to aim an X-ray through the ol’ botox and see what swims around in that cerebral cortex of hers? David Rogers at Politico has written a little piece that touches upon her ambitions, her hopes… and her predilection for coordinates:
“I have always loved longitude,” Nancy Pelosi says before breaking into laughter. “I love latitude; it’s in the stars. But longitude, it’s about time. … Time and clocks and all the rest of that have always been a fascination for me.”
Time is indeed fascinating. Here’s a fun and interesting exercise: look at the clock on your wall right now. See that ‘seconds’ hand ticking off? With each tick, a group of lawmakers at 38 latitude and 77 longitude have spent another dollar of your tax money! And you thought science wasn’t cool…
Now let’s have a look at Pelosi’s take on a debate that rages in the hallowed halls of Congress at this very moment — the energy crisis:
With fewer than 20 legislative days before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, the entire appropriations process has largely ground to a halt because of the ham-handed fighting that followed Republican attempts to lift the moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration. And after promising fairness and open debate, Pelosi has resorted to hard-nosed parliamentary devices that effectively bar any chance for Republicans to offer policy alternatives.
“I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet,” she says impatiently when questioned. “I will not have this debate trivialized by their excuse for their failed policy.”
This, folks, is Section X: Page 12 of the Democrat playbook: Pretend you’re the lone champion of a healthy earth and the only party who cares about clean air and water. Then use that position to self-righteously defend any attempts to actually ease the burdens you have placed on everyday Americans through past do-gooder legislation.
But let’s not assume the woman is shallow. As we’ll soon see, there are many layers to the onion that is Nancy Pelosi. In addition to a penchant for science, the House leader has a literary side:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) promoted futurists such as Alvin Toffler; Pelosi sails the mythical voyages of Italian novelist Umberto Eco.
In case you’re not familiar with this author, he is an expert on medieval aesthetics who has described the Middle Ages as “a geometrically rational schema of what beauty ought to be, and on the other [hand] the unmediated life of art with its dialectic of forms and intentions”. This echos what I and I’m sure many of you have thought about that period as well.
But lest you assumed Democrats were dry and boring… they do have a sense of humor:
The Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is such a favorite that Pelosi’s staffers joke about what she would do if the Nobel laureate were to call about the Colombian Trade Agreement bottled up in the House.
Ba dump bump!
Pelosi then goes on to defend her endorsement of an alternate energy plan crafted by the Democrat’s favorite sworn enemy-turned-friend, T. Boone Pickens:
“We find our common ground on reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and he is a visionary for the future in terms of wind power,” Pelosi says of Pickens.
Hey it always helps to draw upon your area of expertise. Bush knows oil, Nancy and her gang know wind…
To put her next statement in perspective, let’s turn to Section IV, Page 7 of that same dog-eared playbook: Reference the children, the poor and the elderly as often as possible and pronounce your opponents the diabolical foes of these groups.
“Listen,” she laughs, “I go on the floor of the House every day and deal with people who don’t want to give health care to poor little children in America. We’re trying to get a job done. This is a giant kaleidoscope. One day you and I are on the same side. The next day it’s the two of us against you.”
Close your playbooks, please. If nothing else is learned here we at least see that Democrats have become a complete caricature of themselves. I’m talking about the cheesy, airbrushed state-fair variety. This is the type of Democrat thinking that Joe Lieberman has so adamantly railed against in recent opinion pieces.
Here’s a way you can really help, Nancy… and I’ll put it in terms that you understand. The parents of these “poor little children” would like to be able to commute back and forth to their jobs without spending a week’s worth of grocery money on gas. Are you going to look these children in the eyes and tell them their mommies and daddies are going to have to to wait for the wind to blow? Or are you going to lift a ridiculous ban that prevents us from utilizing our own resources — resources that China and Cuba are now tapping into just 50 miles off OUR shores –so that these children can maybe have a little more food on their table?
Just using some of your own heartstring persuasion tactics here, Speaker Pelosi. This is actually kind of fun.
Now, look into those sad little eyes, Nancy, and give these children an answer…
Filed under: barack obama, campaign, democrats, economy, elections, New Deal, obama, politics, Thomas Sowell | Tags: barack obama, democrats, elections, New Deal, obama, politics, Thomas Sowell
I remember reading where certain brand-name companies who sell their products in grocery stores often will put the word “NEW!” on their packaging to get a boost in sales. The actual change in the product itself could be nothing more than adding four milligrams more of riboflavin. But that doesn’t matter to the consumer. Apparently just seeing that magic word is enough to persuade a shopper to throw the item in their buggy without even checking to see just what is ‘new’ about it.
That being said, I have long been mystified at the ease with which starry-eyed Obama supporters are willing to stock up on his special brand of Kool-Aid. Granted their candidate has some exciting qualities — he’s young, he’s hip, he has a great stage presence and he speaks with authority. But as Thomas Sowell so eloquently points out, he is still short on that important little ingredient called substance.
In an election campaign in which not only young liberals, but also some people who are neither young nor liberals, seem absolutely mesmerized by the skilled rhetoric of Barack Obama, facts have receded even further into the background than usual.
As the hypnotic mantra of “change” is repeated endlessly, few people even raise the question of whether what few specifics we hear represent any real change, much less a change for the better.
Certainly it’s a brilliant stroke of marketing on Obama’s part. But what about this “Change!” that is stamped all over Barry’s packaging? A look at the few specifics he has provided on the economic front shows us that nothing new is being proposed at all — just the same old ‘New Deal’ politics presented in a fresh shiny charismatic package. As Sowell points out:
Raising taxes, increasing government spending and demonizing business? That is straight out of the New Deal of the 1930s.
The New Deal was new then but it is not new now. Moreover, increasing numbers of economists and historians have concluded that New Deal policies are what prolonged the Great Depression.
Putting new restrictions of international trade, in order to save American jobs? That was done by Herbert Hoover, when he signed the Hawley-Smoot tariff when the unemployment rate was 9 percent. The next year the unemployment rate was 16 percent and, before the Great Depression was over, unemployment hit 25 percent.
So the ideas are actually quite old. But they are part of a populist strategy that will appeal to the average voter who is unsatisfied with his or her life and wants something or someone to blame.
Sowell then goes on to examine the mindset that is catching on at an alarming pace in this country — the idea that Washington is here to make our lives better:
One of the most naive notions is that politicians are trying to solve the country’s problems, just because they say so– or say so loudly or inspiringly.
Politicians’ top priority is to solve their own problem, which is how to get elected and then re-elected. Barack Obama is a politician through and through, even though pretending that he is not is his special strategy to get elected.
And he is certainly very good at pretending he is not. A few short months ago he even had yours truly fooled. Although I knew he was a liberal and would never have voted for him on that fact alone, I was impressed by what appeared at the time to be a certain amount of integrity. Unlike Hillary, he didn’t give off that phony air of trying to be everything to everyone. And what most struck me at the time was that he seemed to be taking the high-road on race. It was, to say the least, refreshing.
But after the Jeremiah Wright revelation broke, I soon began to realize that Obama’s real strategy is to let others speak for him on the more controversial issues while he stands around looking and sounding presidential. If a firestorm erupted… as it already has a time or two… he could always distance himself without getting his own empty suit singed.
Yes people will call him on these tactics and yes he will look bad a time or two… or twelve. But ultimately what will matter to Democratic and centrist voters is his presence and his ability to look leader-like. That combined with the repetition of carefully chosen buzzwords like “change” and “hope” will likely be all he needs to win this election. McCain, as I have often said, is Bob Dole redux. Nothing about him says ‘new’ and I just don’t see him getting in the Oval Office when so many Americans are wanting newness for newness’ sake.
Those are the sad facts, folks. Maybe by 2012 the spiked Kool-Aid will have worn off and Americans will be ready for the real, bonifide “get government the hell out of our lives” kind of change. Until then, buckle your seatbelts…
Click below for the rest of Sowell’s excellent (as usual) column:
Filed under: Congress, democrats, energy crisis, gas prices, george bush, Nancy Pelosi, oil crisis, politics | Tags: democrats, gas prices, george bush, Nancy Pelosi, oil crisis, politics
As the Democrats were poised to take the helm in the 2006 elections, Nancy Pelosi wrote the following in a press-release addressing the nation’s energy woes:
Democrats have a common-sense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices by cracking down on price-gouging; rolling back the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and royalty relief given to big oil and gas companies; and increasing production of alternative fuels.
Now two years after revealing her “common sense” solution, Pelosi is passing the buck — four of them at last count:
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrapped up her San Francisco holiday weekend Monday with a blast at President Bush. The topic — the price of oil. Gasoline has more than doubled since the Bush administration took office she says.
San Francisco’s Meals on Wheels turns out more than 1,300 meals a day to seniors. But now there has been a dramatic rise in expenses.
“Our costs have gone up 40 percent, but even more so, the indirect costs of driving food costs is really taking a big hit on us. Almost a nine percent increase in food costs in just one year,” says Ashley McCumber of Meals on Wheels.
McCumber joined Speaker Pelosi Monday to dramatize the tough times businesses are having because of fuel costs. The speaker blames what she labels the Bush-Cheney big oil agenda, using graphics to point out gasoline prices have more than doubled in the Bush administration.
“This is a scam of the greatest magnitude,” says Speaker Pelosi.
Truer words have never spilled forth from her botox lips. In fact, that last statement would look great hanging over the door of DNC headquarters.
What Nancy failed to mention in her fancy presentation is that the biggest surge at the pump occurred after her Democrats assumed control of congress. Here’s a little fancy chart of our own:
Yes, things are certainly looking up… vertical even. Maybe this is part of the reason Pelosi’s Congress has now set a new precedent according to the pollsters at Rasmussen:
The percentage of voters who give Congress good or excellent ratings has fallen to single digits for the first time in Rasmussen Reports tracking history. This month, just 9% say Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Most voters (52%) say Congress is doing a poor job, which ties the record high in that dubious category
Congrats! Definitely breaking bold new ground here. For nostalgia sake, let us hearken back to the inspiring speech Pelosi gave in January 2007 after being elected as Speaker:
The election of 2006 was a call to change — not merely to change the control of Congress, but for a new direction for our country.
And we have indeed taken a new direction… hope you folks brought your parachutes.
Filed under: cartoon, democrats, fuel prices, gas prices, oil, windfall profits tax | Tags: cartoon, democrats, fuel prices, gas prices, oil, windfall profits tax
A little schoolhouse humor from cartoonist Michael Ramirez: