Makes me want to puke!

Jeffery Lord was a political director in the Reagan White House.  He wrote an article at The American Spectator on October 14, 2008 about the interconnections between Obama and much of what has been hogging the headlines for the last 2-3 weeks, aside from the presidential election, specifically the economy.

An excerpt:

“That bright, scarlet philosophical thread that runs straight from the bombs of Bill Ayers to the sermons of Jeremiah Wright to the political shenanigans of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd has gradually revealed itself to be a very long fuse to a spectacular explosion of financial and political scandal. An explosion linking everything from the political blackmail of institutions like J.P. Morgan to the financial manipulations of Franklin Raines and Fannie Mae and stunningly connects to ACORN and Obama himself. Last and certainly not least, this same fuse led directly to the destruction of your personal wealth — your money — and is even now poised to steal your votes and destroy the possibility of an honest election.”

Folks, this is real and legitimate news.  The kind of stuff that we used to be able to expect the ENTIRE media to investigate.  If these same sorts of not-so-curious interrelationships existed on the political right, the main-stream media would be all over it.  But not so, when they are a part of the fabric of the left. 

The failure by the media, which has become a kind of 5th column, to connect these relationships represents the kind of obvious bias that ought to make everyone furious, but more importantly, very cautious consumers of the products being “sold” by the big 3 television news divisions, some of the cable news networks, most of the large city newspapers, NPR, and a host of other so-called traditional news sources.

Read the whole article here.

HT:  Matt Peters


3 Responses to Makes me want to puke!

  1. joe says:

    What you have posted in not news. It’s abject rightist propaganda. There are so many things wrong with stringing those claims together that it’s hard to pick a place to begin.

    How about coming up with a breakdown of exactly who took out the majority of these bad loans to begin with? The right has made sport of blaming the CSA (which was enacted in 1977) and those who supported it for allowing poor people to get a mortgage they can’t afford for the economic crisis. Have any of the rightist propaganda outlets making these claims offered any insight into how many of these loans were taken out by middle and upper income earners who thought they could use ARMs to afford far more expensive houses than they had any business getting into? What about middle and upper income earners who took out huge home equity loans based on the inflated price of their houses that have since gone bad? What about the middle and upper income earners who thought they could clean up flipping property after property in a game of real estate hot potato? None of those three groups have anything to do with the CRA. We know that all three contributed in major ways to the credit crisis how come such champions of “real and legitimate news” as Jeffery Lord don’t even mention them?

    How come Jefferey doesn’t even mention that it was in 2004, under President Bush’s watch the SEC raised the permissible debt to net capital ratio by more than triple, from 12 to 1 to 40 to 1?! It shouldn’t take many guesses to figure out which 5 major broker-dealers qualified: Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. Think about that. This SEC rule change for the biggest banks coincided exactly with the housing market explosion. That’s when the banks started taking on the massive influx of these loans. Without that single act by the SEC, this economic crisis isn’t even possible. The housing market probably still would have crashed, but there would be less than 1/3 the bad paper they currently have on the books and our economy would have been able to ride it out without the need for a taxpayer bailout to prevent the credit market from seizing up.

    If you insist on looking past the SEC, you still can’t pin it solely on the Democrats. They’ve been fighting predatory mortgage brokers since the CSA was enacted. You can blame the Federal Reserve for keeping interest rates low which increased the amount of bad paper by simply making credit too easy to obtain and also by contributing to the over inflation of the housing bubble. How about the following quote from Alan Greenspan in 2004:

    One way homeowners attempt to manage their payment risk is to use fixed-rate mortgages, which typically allow homeowners to prepay their debt when interest rates fall but do not involve an increase in payments when interest rates rise. Homeowners pay a lot of money for the right to refinance and for the insurance against increasing mortgage payments. Calculations by market analysts of the “option adjusted spread” on mortgages suggest that the cost of these benefits conferred by fixed-rate mortgages can range from 0.5 percent to 1.2 percent, raising homeowners’ annual after-tax mortgage payments by several thousand dollars. Indeed, recent research within the Federal Reserve suggests that many homeowners might have saved tens of thousands of dollars had they held adjustable-rate mortgages rather than fixed-rate mortgages during the past decade, though this would not have been the case, of course, had interest rates trended sharply upward.

    American homeowners clearly like the certainty of fixed mortgage payments. This preference is in striking contrast to the situation in some other countries, where adjustable-rate mortgages are far more common and where efforts to introduce American-type fixed-rate mortgages generally have not been successful. Fixed-rate mortgages seem unduly expensive to households in other countries. One possible reason is that these mortgages effectively charge homeowners high fees for protection against rising interest rates and for the right to refinance.

    American consumers might benefit if lenders provided greater mortgage product alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate mortgage. To the degree that households are driven by fears of payment shocks but are willing to manage their own interest rate risks, the traditional fixed-rate mortgage may be an expensive method of financing a home.

    How many middle and upper class earners who have nothing to do with the CRA decided they could afford far more home than they had any business getting into when they heard that?

    Check a post at my blog for a fairly thorough look at what happened in Congress to legislation that was supposed to reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

    And check the comments section of that post there for sources on the SEC activity referred to here.

    If you care about what really happened with this economic crisis you’ll allow this comment to remain here. If you’re just looking for an excuse to demonize Democrats and are desperate and disingenuous enough to perpetuate any propaganda you come across, I guess you’ll delete this reply. But you and I will know the truth.

  2. Chuck says:

    Joe, as you can see, I have left your comment intact and in its entirety. As for “knowing the truth” as you say at the end, were you referring to whether or not I might delete the comment or something else? As for the assertions made in your comment above, I regard those as your opinions, just as Jeffery Lord’s opinions are his.

    Frankly, the democrats demonize themselves. At your site, you indicate that you are, or at least were raised as a “typical white Catholic American.” You give no other comments with respect to whether or not you still claim those beliefs, but since you were raised in such a fashion, does Obama/the democrats’ extravagant support for the murder of unborn children not make you cringe just a little? In spite of the fact that Barry seems uncertain about when human life begins, the church of your upbringing is not the least bit unclear about it. Frankly, one must look no further than that issue alone to DEMONIZE the democrats. If people cannot at least agree on the one issue of the value and sanctity of innocent human life, (and by their position on the matter, Obama and the democrats evidently do not value it) then it is no wonder we find ourselves so divided as a nation.

    I don’t know if you are an Obama supporter or not. Irrespective, your comment above typifies, for me, the usual modus operandi for Obama appologists, that being, to declare as incorrect, any unfavorable assertion made against him, and then change the subject. Case in point, you claim that there are many ways in which Jeffery Lord is wrong in his string of assertions. If that is true, please start with the beginning of Jeffery Lord’s string, which is William Ayers and definitively disassociate him from Barry Obama. Once that is complete, continue down Lord’s list.

    Your complaint about the opinions and assertions made by Jeffery Lord are with Jeffery Lord. I merely linked to his article and my additional comments at my blog were regarding the lack of coverage of ANY of this by the main-stream media. Or did you fail to notice that?

    Since you claim to work for a cable television network why don’t you let us know just how much coverage your employer has given to the subject of William Ayers, or Jeremiah Wright, or Tony Rezko, or,… the list goes on.

    By the way, you are welcome to comment here at any time. The only rules for engagement are no profanity, the comment be relevant to the post, and the comment thread is not to be used for self-promotion. Your haughty bluster at the end of your comment above was not necessary. But I love it when people feel moved to drop threatening tones in their remarks, as those sorts of things allow readers get a fuller view of the character of those who comment.

  3. joe says:


    This week I had an experience where I commented on a rightist blog and the administrator chose to post only out-of-context-excerpts from my reply, publicly accusing me of profanity and positions that I did not assert. Since you took a look at my blog you’ll note that profanity isn’t my style.

    Regarding your second paragraph, which is dedicate to the topic of Obama’s abortion policies, before proceeding, I am compelled to note that nowhere in your blog entry or in the column you linked or in my reply was the topic of abortion breached. So, this was a rather abrupt change of subject on your part. I note this because in your third paragraph you accused me of doing that very thing, which is very much not the case at all. But I’ll get to that later.

    Anyway, I do not put great importance in politicians’ positions on abortion, either way. I don’t see how reversing Roe v Wade will have any significant impact on the number of abortions performed in the United States. Abortions will remain legal in the overwhelming majority of states including the most populous states and those where abortions are most common. Women who live in states where they become illegal will still be able to travel to get the procedure done or have it performed illegally. I just don’t see that as progress.

    One thing I do dislike about Obama’s abortion politics is that over the years he has flip-flopped on some abortion issues for the purpose of political gain. This shows a typical politician’s lack of integrity. Unfortunately, John McCain has displayed a similar finger-in-the-wind approach to abortion issues over the years and so he does not win any points on Obama there. All that said, more important than any of this is actual results. I imagine you are aware that the number of abortions in the US has been in decline since 1990. I imagine you are unaware that the decline was steeper during the Clinton years than it has been during the Bush years. By all means, don’t take my word for it, the stats are available at the CDC website. While we can only make educated guesses at the reason for this, there is one very notable difference between the two presidents: comprehensive sex ed during the Clinton years vs abstinence-only education during Bush’s terms.

    Whatever the actual reason(s) I think you can agree with me that the best result is the greatest reduction in occurrence of abortions, and keeping that figure in as steep a decline as possible. Over the last 28 years, the steepest decline came during a Democrat presidency. This is an undeniable fact, not opinion.

    On to your third paragraph. I don’t agree that my reply fits what you call the typical MO for Obama “defenders”. I addressed Mr. Lord’s primary assertion (that the Community Reinvestment Act and it’s supporters are responsible for the current economic crisis) rather directly. I pointed out that that there were numerous other contributing factors to the crisis, at least one of which was far more impactful. I detailed them, explained why they were important and asked why we never see these issues raised at all when the rightist propaganda/media attempts to lay the blame for the crisis at the feet of the Democrats. How is that anything but on-topic?

    Your challenge that I start with the beginning of Lord’s string of assertions and continue down the list sort of misses the point of what I said. I wrote that there is many things wrong with “stringing these assertions together”. By that I mean, for example, Ayers’ statement about communism has nothing to do with the CRA or Obama’s or anyone else’s support for the CRA. Jeremiah Wright’s God damn America statement has absolutely nothing to do with Obama’s or anyone else’s support for the CRA. Sure, I could go through the piece line by line and point out the problems with the various bogus connections he attempts or exaggerates, but instead I pointed out the blatant flaws in the very root of his claim, that being:

    the Community Reinvestment Act passed in 1977. The purpose of the Carter legislation was to reduce “discriminatory” credit practices affecting the poor. Like clockwork, this in turn opened the door for ACORN. Fannie Mae boss Franklin Raines, the Clinton appointee who walked away from the agency with $90 million, was so intent on making things fair for those “millions of families” unable to buy homes (as Clinton and Gore had promised in 1992) that he reduced “down payment requirements,” a key tenet of ACORN.


    the connection between ACORN, Obama, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Fannie Mae [resulted in] status of their own personal financial well-being and that of, quite literally, the entire global economy

    I will admit to not bothering to address his concluding line, in which he called for a special prosecutor on the day after Obama wins the election because I’m giving him the benefit of doubt and assuming that is a very bad joke.

    Anyway, your explanation that you didn’t intend to mean that you accepted Lord’s column as fact, that’s good enough for me. I did misunderstand you when you wrote “this is real and legitimate news”, I thought you were referring specifically to Lord’s column. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Anyway, Fox News Channel, has covered ACORN, both the registration fraud and CRA connection quite thoroughly, and they very much qualify as a part of the mainstream media, if you mean that term to include the cable networks. And believe it or not, CNN has done a pretty good job of covering ACORN as well. But you’re not going to find mainstream outlets other than FOX parroting the hysterical rantings of Jeffery Lord and his ilk with such flimsy basis and assertions that are so easily refuted as I showed in my first reply to your post.

    Regarding the network I am employed with, we only cover a narrow category of news witch almost never includes politics. We are very much a news organization, but the presidential race doesn’t fall along the lines of what we do. Too bad, it would make my job a lot more interesting.

    I do appreciate you running an open forum at your blog. I do the same and in fact I wish my posts elicited more comments. Accept my apologies for the tone of my final paragraph. As I noted I was fresh off a bad experience with another blogger who posted similar assertions regarding Obama’s alleged responsibility for the economic crisis. If you’d like I’ll provide a link to the post so you can see what mean but I’d rather not give him the satisfaction of another hit on his blog.

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