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Mark Steyn so often can capture reality in a way we all can understand.

All those big numbers in the Obama budget. What do they mean?

It's not the "debt" or the "deficit," it's the spending. And the only way to reduce that is with fewer government agencies, fewer government programs, fewer government employees, lower government salaries.

The horrifying fact is that the example of federal spending is being followed in too many states and cities and towns. Raise taxes to spend more and still the spending increases.


UNSUSTAINABLE

We are incentivizing financial unsustainability.

Mark Steyn

At the National Prayer Breakfast, Barack Obama singled out for praise Navy Corpsman Christian Bouchard. Or as the president called him, "Corpseman Bouchard." Twice.

Hey, not a big deal. Throughout his life, the commander-in-chief has had little contact with the military, and less interest. And, when you give as many speeches as this guy does, there's no time to rehearse or read through: You just gotta fire up the prompter and wing it. But it's revealing that nobody around him in the so-called smartest administration of all time thought to spell it out phonetically for him when the speech got typed up and loaded into the machine. Which suggests that either his minders don't know that he doesn't know that kinda stuff, or they don't know it either. To put it in Rumsfeldian terms, they don't know what they don't know.

Which is embarrassingly true. Hence, the awful flop speeches, from the Copenhagen Olympics to the Berlin Wall anniversary video to the Martha Coakley rally. The palpable whiff given off by the White House inner circle is that they're the last people on the planet still besotted by Barack Obama, and that they're having such a cool time starring in their own reality-show remake of The West Wing they can only conceive of the public -- and, indeed, the world -- as crowd-scene extras in The Barack Obama Show: They expect you to cheer and wave flags when the floor-manager tells you to, but the notion that in return he should be able to persuade you of the merits of his policies seems entirely to have eluded them.

But, since Obama's mispronunciation is a pithier summation of the State of the Union than any of the dreary 90-minute sludge he paid his speechwriters for, let us consider it: Is America a Corpseman walking?

Well, we're getting there. National Review's Jim Geraghty sums up Obama's America thus: "Unsustainable is the new normal." Indeed. The other day, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, described current deficits as "unsustainable." So let's make them even more so. The president tells us, with a straight face, that his grossly irresponsible profligate wastrel of a predecessor took the federal budget on an eight-year joyride, so the only way his sober, fiscally prudent successor can get things under control is to grab the throttle and crank it up to what Mel Brooks in Spaceballs (which seems the appropriate comparison) called "Ludicrous Speed."

Obama's spending proposes to take the average Bush deficit for the years 2001-2008, and double it, all the way to 2020. To get out of the Bush hole, we need to dig a hole twice as deep for one-and-a-half times as long. And that's according to the official projections of his Economics Czar, Ms. Rose Colored-Glasses. By 2015, the actual hole may be so deep that even if you toss every Obama speech down it on double-spaced paper you still won't be able to fill it up. In the spendthrift Bush days, federal spending as a proportion of GDP average 19.6 percent. Obama proposes to crank it up to 25 percent as a permanent feature of life.

But, if they're "unsustainable," what happens when they can no longer be sustained? A failure of bond auctions? A downgraded government debt rating? Reduced GDP growth? Total societal collapse? Mad Max on the New Jersey Turnpike?

Testifying to the House Budget Committee, Director Elmendorf attempted to pull back from the wilder shores of "unsustainable": "I think most observers expect that the government will act, that the unsustainability will be resolved through action, not through witnessing some collapse down the road," he said. "If literally nothing is done, then eventually something very, very bad happens. But I think the widespread view is that you and your colleagues will take action."

Dream on, you kinky fantasist. The one thing that can be guaranteed is that a political class led by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, a handful of reach-across-the-aisle Republican accomodationists and an economically illiterate narcissist in the Oval Office is never going to rein in unsustainable spending in any meaningful sense. That leaves Director Elmendorf's alternative scenario. What was it again? Oh, yeah: "Some collapse down the road."

Speaking of roads, I see that, according to USA Today, when the economic downturn began, the U.S. Department of Transportation had just one employee making over $170,000. A year and a half later, it has 1,690.

Happy days are here again!

Did you get your pay raise this year? What's that, you don't work for the government? Yes, you do, one way or another. Good luck relying on Obama, Pelosi, Frank, and the other Emirs of Kleptocristan "taking action" to "resolve" that. In the last month, the cost of insuring Greece's sovereign debt against default has doubled. Spain and Portugal are headed the same way. When you binge-spend at the Greek level in a democratic state, there aren't many easy roads back. The government has introduced an austerity package to rein in spending. In response, Greek tax collectors have walked off the job.

Read that again slowly: To protest government cuts, striking tax collectors are refusing to collect taxes. In a sane world, this would be a hilarious TV comedy sketch. But most of the Western world is no longer sane. It's tough enough to persuade the town drunk to sober up, but when everyone's face down in the moonshine, maybe it's best just to head for the hills. But where to flee? America is choosing to embrace Greece's future when even the Greeks have figured out you can't make it add up. Consider the opening paragraph of Martin Crutsinger, "AP Economics Writer": "WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.83 trillion budget on Monday that would pour more money into the fight against high unemployment, boost taxes on the wealthy and freeze spending for a wide swath of government programs."

What language is that written in? How can a $3.83 trillion budget "freeze spending"? And where's the president getting all this money to "pour" into his "fight" against high unemployment? Would it perchance be from the same small businesses that might be hiring new workers if the president didn't need so much money to "pour" away? Heigh-ho. Maybe we can all be striking tax collectors. It seems a comfortable life . . .

If unsustainable is the new normal, it should also be the new national anthem. Take it away, Natalie Cole:

"Unsustainable
That's what you are
Unsustainable
Though near or far
Like a ton of debt you've dropped on us
How the thought of you has flopped on us
Never before
Has someone spent more . . . "

It's not the "debt" or the "deficit," it's the spending. And the only way to reduce that is with fewer government agencies, fewer government programs, fewer government employees, lower government salaries.

Instead, all four are rocketing up: We are incentivizing unsustainability, and, when it comes to "some collapse down the road," you'll be surprised how short that road is.

Who was responsible for the housing bubble, its collapse and the resulting panic that triggered the present worldwide financial meltdown costing homeowners and investors trillions and millions their jobs?

The prime culprit is Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, as this website has long pointed out. Search for "Barney" and you'll find much documentation for this on the website.

Senator Dodd of Connecticut was also complicit, raking in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae while urging them to package up and sell worldwide with the implicit guranty of the United States the subprime paper Democrats had forced banks to issue to the uncreditworthy.

Though seldom noted Barack Obama was in the forefront of efforts to force banks to make loans they never should have made. Fresh out of law school in the early 1990s he was training community organizers in Chicago (ACORN, no less) how to break up bank board meetings and intimidate bankers and demand they make mortgage loans to credit shaky minorities. Intimidation worked and the disintegration of credit standards, blessed by the Clinton Administration was on. See, for example, this.


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So now that that same Barney Frank wants to seek criminal prosecutions of those responsible, Investor's Business Daily names the prime candidate for the first prosecution: Congressman Frank.

Let The Inquisition Start With Barney Frank

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Monday, March 9, 2009

Oversight: Congressman Barney Frank says he wants some of those responsible for our current financial meltdown to be prosecuted. And we couldn't agree more. First up in the court dock: Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

Even by the extraordinarily loose standards of Congress, it takes some chutzpah for someone such as Frank to suggest that he'll seek prosecutions for those behind the housing and financial crunch and for what he called "a strongly empowered systemic risk regulator."

For Frank, perhaps more than any single individual in private or public life, is responsible for both the housing market mess and subsequent bank disaster. And no, this isn't partisan hyperbole or historical exaggeration.

But first, a little trip down memory lane.

It was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two so-called Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), that lay behind the crisis. After regulatory changes made to the Community Reinvestment Act by President Clinton in 1995, Fannie and Freddie went into hyper-drive, channeling literally trillions of dollars into the housing markets, using leverage and implicit taxpayers' guarantees.

In November 2000, President Clinton's Housing and Urban Development Department would trumpet "new regulations to provide $2.4 trillion in mortgages for affordable housing for 28.1 million families." The vehicles for this were Fannie and Freddie. It was the largest expansion in housing aid ever.

Still, from the early 1990s on, many people both inside and outside Washington were alarmed by what they saw at Fannie and Freddie.

Not Barney Frank: Starting in the early 1990s, he (and other Democrats) stood athwart efforts by regulators, Congress and the White House to get the runaway housing market under control.

He opposed reform as early as 1992. And, in response to another attempt bring Fannie-Freddie to heel in 2000, Frank responded it wasn't needed because there was "no federal liability there whatsoever."

In 2002, Frank nixed reforms again. See a pattern here?

Even after federal regulators discovered in 2003 that Fannie and Freddie executives had overstated earnings by as much as $10.6 billion in order to boost bonuses, Frank didn't miss a beat.

President Bush pushed for what the New York Times then called "the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."

If it had passed, the housing crisis likely would have never boiled over, at least not the extent it did, taking the economy with it. Instead, led by Frank, Democrats stood as a bloc against any changes.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis," Frank, then the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, said. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

It's hard to say why Frank did all this. It could be his close ties to the Neighborhood Assistance Corp., a powerful housing activist group based in Boston, which controls billions in loans. Or that he received some $40,100 in campaign donations from Fannie and Freddie from 1989 to 2008. Or that he has been romantically linked to a one-time executive at Fannie during the 1990s.

Whatever the case, his conflicts are obvious and outrageous, and his refusal to countenance reforms of Fannie and Freddie contributed mightily to today's meltdown. If you're looking for a culprit in the meltdown to prosecute, no one fits the bill better than Frank.

We have detailed on several occasions that the present worldwide financial crisis can be traced to Democratic housing policies encouraging and then requiring banks to make mortgage loans to people who really couldn't afford them. Present in the early stages of the drive to force banks to make such loans was Barack Obama, then a schooled community organizer training ACORN operatives in Chicago how to intimidate banks and bankers into making loans they shouldn't. That was back in 1991. Obama-supporting ACORN was among the organizations that pressed the Clinton Administration to toughen up the penalties on banks that "weren't making enough" subprime loans. (ACORN worked for Obama in his first run for Illinois Senate in 1996.)

Understandably, banks didn't want to make loans that had a strong chance of going bad. They wanted to get rid of them. So ACORN spent tens of thousands of dollars lobbying Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy up subprime loans and sell them around the world as U.S. government securities. Also pressing Fannie and Freddie was Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, and the top Democrat in the House of Representatives on financial matters. Subprime loans rocketed from 2% of total mortgage loans in 2002 to 30% in 2006. Internal reports at Fannie warned that Fannie was getting in too deep with these risky loans, but top brass ignored the warning as Congressional Democrats led by Frank and Democratic Senator Dodd of Connecticut urged them to buy up more.

The demand for housing mushroomed with all the mortgage loan availability. In 2003 President Bush called Congress to rein in Fannie and Freddie, but Democrats led by Frank said everything was fine and no new regulation was needed. Senate Repubicans pushed legisation in 2004, 2005 and 2006, but again Democrats led by Barney Frank said all was peachy keen and no new regulation was needed. All told, Frank and fellow Democrats blocked reform efforts in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. (In 2005 and 2006 Obama was in the U.S. Senate supporting Democratic efforts to block Fannie/Freddie reform. Obama in just two years became the number two recipient of Fannie/Freddie campaign contributions of all time. They must have known he was present at the creation of the subprime mortgage loan boom that resulted in many millions of bonuses for Fannie/Freddie top officials as business skyrocketed.)

The sorry tale is detailed in, among other places on this site, here. The housing bubble collapsed, subprime mortgage loan defaults exploded and rippled through Fannie and Freddie securities around the world. Financial panic ensued, all triggered by the subprime mortgage mirage dissolving.

Yesterday Rush Limbaugh reported that Barney Frank had appeared on MSNBC to discuss the financial crisis and how it all started. In many interviews, Frank had shamelessly blamed it all on Wall Street greed. Now Frank gave Joe Scarborough a different view. Limbaugh's transcript follows:

RUSH: Barney Frank. I want to go to yesterday's audio sound bite roster. Actually, we have stuff from today and yesterday. Yesterday he was on with Chris Cuomo on Good Morning America, and I'll tell you, Barney is getting more and more contentious with his buddies. I mean, the people in the Drive-By Media are Barney's buddies, and he's getting contentious with them, often for no reason (which means he's defensive). But first from MSNBC today, Joe Scarborough's morning show. Scarborough said, "How do we stop the next big bust on Wall Street? We had the '87 crash. We had the Asian crash. We had the dotcom crash and the telecom crash, and now we got the housing bubble crash." I'll tell you the next crash. I just said, folks. We are insane. It was just two months ago that we learned that massive debt that can't be repaid causes bubbles to burst big time. And now we've got trillion-plus dollar or trillion-dollar deficits, promised by Obama, for years. So that's the next one to bust, and Scarborough is asking Barney Frank, "How do we figure out what the hell we're doing on Wall Street?"

FRANK: It's not deregulation. That was not the problem. It was the failure to adopt new regulation for a new phenomenon, the securitization. The biggest part of this problem was subprime loans: money lent to people to make them homeowners who couldn't afford the loans, who should not have been considered to be, in many cases, capable financially of homeowning. Now... Eh... You've gotta recognize reality. We have begun to adopt legislation to prevent that. We can stop the last problem from recurring. Nobody can know what the next problem will be.

RUSH: This is... (laughing) He created the problem! This... Folks, this is more than chutzpah. He created the problem. This is a sound bite that gets you out of your chair. I don't believe I just heard this. He created it. His definition of "affordable housing" was to make sure that people who couldn't pay the loans back got the loans, the mortgages. He forced Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to do this. ACORN was involved, Obama's group. This was a Democrat Party operation through and through! Instead of answering questions from Joe Scarborough, Barney Frank ought to be answering them as a witness before some other congressional committee. So now we have begun to adopt legislation to prevent this? (laughing) All you can do is laugh. I know some of you people are put out with me because I'm laughing at this, but what are we going to do? You can't go through your life angry all the time like the liberals do, but this...

Trillions of dollars have been lost as a result. Most 401(k)s and other savings have been decimated. Retirements are being postponed. Housing values have shriveled. People have lost their homes. And who was responsible? Know-it-all do-good Democrats who ignored the realities of economics.


No one has dug deeper and written more about the real Obama than Stanley Kurtz, the independent researcher at Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center. On the day before the election he provides his overall conclusion based on what he has learned from his extensive investigation: Barack Obama is a Far Left radical deeply steeped in and following the principles and practices of his intellectual and spiritual guiding light the communist agitator Saul Alinksy, whose goal was to destroy America's capitalist society and replace it with a totalitarian socialist one.

Wealth redistribution, not wealth creation, is at the center of Obama's plan. He will build support for this socialist end by vastly expanding the ACORN-style community organizating movement by linking the massive youth corps that he has said he will create as president. As Kurtz points out, ACORN, funded by Obama and Ayers through foundations, was a prime agent in undermining the credit standards of the nation's banking system as Obama supported “major redistributive change. Via ACORN, that project has already nearly wrecked our economy. What will happen when it’s generalized?"

Obama's words will be soothing and moderate as always (Alinsky preached using vague words such as "hope" and "change" rather than the specifics of the socialist agenda), but a totalitarian socialist society will continue to be his ultimate goal.

Kurtz's brilliant exposés have been ignored by the nation's mainstream media when they could and whitewashed by them when they could not. The tragedy for America is that the vast majority of voters has never seen, heard or been able to discuss Kurtz's Obama disclosures. What Obama and the Obama campaign have chosen to hide from the general public largely remains hidden because of the media's corrupt complicity.

Kurtz deserves our heartfelt thanks. If this far left radical, so far out of and opposed to mainstream American values, is elected president, at least a core few will be armed, alert and ready to do battle to defeat his totalitarian socialist agenda.

Here's Kurtz's conclusion in its entirety. To read all his investigative pieces, click here.

November 3, 2008

What We Know About Obama

The illusion of pragmatism advances far-left goals, in baby steps.

By Stanley Kurtz

Reflecting on all that I’ve written about Barack Obama over these past six months, four inter-related points stand out: Obama’s radicalism, his stealthy incrementalism, his interest in funding and organization-building, and his willingness to use — or quietly support — Alinskyite intimidation tactics. Since we stand on the cusp of the election, I’ll lay out the bottom line. For those who want to know more, go back and read the detailed studies on which I base these conclusions.

Obama’s troubling associations are more than isolated friendships or instances of bad judgment. His ties to Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Rashid Khalidi, Michael Pfleger, James Meeks, ACORN, the New Party, and the Gamaliel Foundation all reflect Obama’s sympathy with radical-left ideas and causes — wealth redistribution prominent among them. At both the Woods Fund and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, for example, Obama and Ayers channeled money into ACORN’s coffers. ACORN, a militant group pursuing economic redistribution, succeeded in undermining credit standards throughout the banking system, thereby modeling the New Party’s plans to tame capitalism itself. So the association with Ayers is not an outlier issue, but part and parcel of a network of radical ties through which Obama’s supported “major redistributive change.” Via ACORN, that project has already nearly wrecked our economy. What will happen when it’s generalized?

Similarly, Obama’s “association” with Wright was far more than a mere pastor-parishioner — or even mentor-protégé — relationship. Obama’s work with the Gamaliel Foundation required him to “organize” left-leaning churches into a larger political force. His real interest in Wright, Pfleger, and Meeks was to turn them into the nucleus of a far broader politicized coalition of radical black churches — as shown, for example, by his work with them on the Illinois racial-profiling bill. Again, we are not dealing with mere “associations,” but with intentional political partnerships.

Although media malfeasance is at the heart of our ignorance about these broader patterns, Obama’s absorption of Alinskyite strategies of stealthy incrementalism have helped to hide the truth. Following well-worn organizer strategies, Obama knows how to wrap ideological radicalism in the soothing rhetoric of “pragmatism” and classic American values. There is a kernel of truth to the pragmatism, however. Radical though his ultimate goals may be, Obama follows classic organizer strategy — pursuing his ends in tiny, incremental, and cumulative baby-steps. The municipal “living wage” campaigns supported by Obama, Wright, and groups like ACORN and the New Party were never designed, in themselves, to bring fundamental economic change. These ordinances actually applied to only a very small number of companies. The broader purpose of these battles was to build coalitions for deeper structural change on the national level, when the moment was right. Obama would likely hew to this incrementalism in power, with the same radical long-term goals in mind.

Obama was a master at channeling funding to his organizer allies. He was the key force turning the Woods Fund toward a major increase in support for community organizers, at a moment when other foundations shied away from funding the militant and confrontational tactics of groups like ACORN. In his now infamous 2001 radio remarks, Obama’s preferred strategy for promoting “major redistributive change” was through society-wide organizing from below. As president, Obama would connect his massive youth-volunteer program to his favorite community-organizer groups, thereby creating a political force for long-term restructuring of the American economy. This was the program of the New Party, and I believe it is still Obama’s long-term goal.

In pursuit of his goals, Obama has shown himself willing to quietly support, and sometimes to openly use, radical Alinskyite tactics. At the Woods Fund, Obama’s allies bragged about the way their “post-ideological” cover had allowed them to fund ACORN’s confrontational tactics, while escaping public criticism. Obama has shamelessly used Alinskyite “direct action” to silence and intimidate political foes during the current campaign (a matter well-known to conservatives, yet little noted by the mainstream press). Victory would only cement the conviction in Obama and his allies that these tactics had “won,” and therefore should be used again.

Has Obama changed? Was he merely using his radical Chicago allies to gain national renown, and thereby an opening for a more moderate political program? I find this view unconvincing. Obama has often claimed that his early community organizing, and his redistributive legislative work, were at the very core of his political identity. We’ve heard his radicalism on the radio in 2001. Does anyone really believe that he’s changed in 2008? Obama’s political radicalism consolidated his shaky personal identity. It formed him as an adult. He cannot abandon that inner stance without losing hold of an already precarious self. Obama chose to live in Hyde Park — chose that radical setting as the site of his adult self-creation. Hyde Park was never the place Obama needed to conquer in order to escape. On the contrary, it was the personally chosen home he now hopes to nationalize by spreading his organizing gospel to America’s youth.

Obama is clever and pragmatic, it’s true. But his pragmatism is deployed on behalf of radical goals. Obama’s heart is, and will remain, with the Far Left. Yet he will surely be cautious about grasping for more, at any given moment, than the political traffic will bear. That should not be mistaken for genuine moderation. It will merely be the beginning stages of a habitually incremental radicalism. In his heart and soul, Barack Obama was and remains a radical-stealthy, organizationally sophisticated, and — when necessary — tactically ruthless. The real Obama — the man beyond the feel-good symbol — is no mystery. He’s there for anyone willing to look. Sad to say, few are.

— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

NO REASON NOT TO VOTE FOR OBAMA?

The media is now joining Obama is playing the race card. And here. Simply put, if you don't vote for Obama, you're racist. You have no legitimate reason not to.

1. That you're troubled by the elite media's attempt to force you to vote for Obama to prove you're not a racist, is no reason.

2. That you're troubled by Obama’s constant playing of the race card, first against Hillary Clinton, then against John McCain and now against anyone who raises a question or a criticism, is no reason.

3. That you're troubled by his fixation on black power and dislike of whites as revealed in his own books in which he approvingly refers to "white men's greed" as the cause of the world's problems, is no reason.

4. That you're troubled by his attraction to Marxist socialist principles that began in high school and continued through college where he “hung out” with black power advocates and Marxist socialists and distanced himself from whites, as he describes in his books, is no reason.

5. That you’re troubled that he put his Marxist socialist principles into practice by becoming a community organizer of blacks against the white establishment in Chicago working with communist/socialist ACORN and other community organizers, is no reason.

6. That you're troubled by his attraction to and absorption of the communist Alinsky method of community organizing (studied in Chicago and while at Harvard Law School) in which socialist purposes are carefully hidden by sticking to platitudes like "hope" and "change" to solve every human dissatisfaction, is no reason.

7. That you're troubled by his telling Joe the Plumber he was going to impose higher taxes on him to "spread the wealth," that is, to take money away from people who pay taxes to give to people who don't pay taxes, which is pure socialism, is no reason

8. That you're troubled by his long association (as trainer, lawyer, collaborator and employer) with the communist/socialist community organization ACORN that has been involved in vote registration fraud controversies, including convictions, across the country, including this year, is no reason.

9. That you're troubled that Obama hired ACORN this year to do voter registration, knowing as he did about its record of voter fraud registration accusations, investigations and convictions (investigations of ACORN fraud are under way right now in at least 12 states), paying $320,000 to ACORN and then covering up the payment, is no reason.

10, That you're troubled that every day there are new stories of fraud involving ACORN workers in states across the nation and all the Obama campaign can say is that such reports are "a distraction" from the real issues, is no reason.

11. That you're troubled that he was an early pioneer, working with ACORN, in showing how to intimidate banks and bankers into making uncreditworthy mortgage loans to minorities and low-income people who could not afford them, which pressure tactics spread and ultimately led to the housing bubble, its collapse and the present world financial crisis and loss of hundreds of billions for investors and tens of thousands of jobs, is no reason.

12. That you're troubled that Obama, having worked closely with the communist/socialist organization ACORN throughout his entire career, recently said his views are still pretty much the same as when he helped ACORN force banks to make risky mortgage loans they never should have made and ran a voter registration drive with ACORN, is no reason.

13. That you're troubled that Obama has vowed to the communist//socialist group ACORN and other such organizations will be called in to work with him, if he's elected president, even before inauguration to shape the agenda of his administration,, is no reason.

14. That you're troubled that in just a few months in the U.S. Senate Obama was able to become the second biggest recipient, some $126,000 -- over a 20-year period -- of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sources, is no reason.

15. That you’re troubled that when John McCain and others were proposing reforms in 2005 and 2006 to prevent a collapse of the out-of-control practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buying up far too many risky subprime mortgage loans, Obama instead sided with Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd in opposing reform, thus bringing on the present world financial crisis, indeed being quoted saying subprime loans were a good thing, is no reason.

16. That you're troubled by his association with people who hate America such as white hater Jeremiah Wright, unrepentant admitted terrorist bomber and self-described communist William Ayers (who said in 2001 the mention of America "makes him want to puke"), Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan, former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi and nutcase Father Michael Pfleger, is no reason.

17. That you're troubled that he was attracted in the first place to black power, white-America hater, anti-Semitic pastor Jeremiah Wright and stayed with him for 20 years, knowing he was a follower of black liberation theology that preaches that any god that is not exclusively on the side of the blacks against whites must be killed, is no reason.

18. That you're troubled that he lied about never in 20 years hearing Jeremiah Wright make any of his anti-America and anti-white speeches, but then admitted he had when his campaign advisors realized the lie could be easily disproved, is no reason.

19. That you're troubled that he brought his young children to Jeremiah Wright's sermons Sunday after Sunday to listen to his bigoted tirades against whites and his hateful harangues against America, is no reason.

20. That you’re troubled that he helped Nation of Islam’s anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan organize the Million-Man March in Washington and that Farrakhan has called Obama the messiah for black Muslims, is no reason.

21. That you're troubled that, working for years jointly with unrepentant terrorist bomber William Ayers, who describes himself as a communist, Obama funneled $150 million to fund programs to turn Chicago teachers and students into socialist revolutionaries who hate America, is no reason.

22. That you're troubled that, working jointly with America hater William Ayers, Obama directed charitable funds to separatist Afrocentric, America-hating programs designed by allies of Jeremiah Wright, while denouncing “the unrealistic politics of integrationist assimilation,” is no reason.

23. That you're troubled that, working jointly with America hater William Ayers, Obama, "to change America," directed charitable funds to the communist/socialist ACORN that was intimidating banks to make unsafe mortgage loans and engaging in voter registration fraud, as he well knew, is no reason.

24. That you're troubled that Obama continued his collaboration with Ayers after Ayers allowed himself to be photographed for the cover of Chicago magazine in 2001 standing on the American flag and telling an interviewer the thought of America made him "want to puke," is no reason.

25. That you're troubled that, working jointly with admitted terrorist bomber William Ayers, he steered charitable funds to an Arab-related organization that handed money over to a Palestinian terrorist organization, is no reason.

26. That you're troubled by Obama’s decision to go inside the Chicago Daley Democratic patronage and payoff political machine (often called by Chicago newspapers the “corrupt” Daley Democratic political machine) and become a go-along, loyal member of the machine, which is now running his campaign, is no reason.

27. That you're troubled that as an Illinois state senator Obama refused to support reformers against the Daley patronage and payoff machine, but supported the Chicago Democratic political machine at all times, is no reason.

28. That you’re troubled that in his first run for public office he was able to force all three Democratic opponents off the primary ballot to run unopposed, which if not unprecedented is so highly unusual as to raise questions about the objectivity of Democratic election officials beholden to the Daley political machine which Obama supports, is no reason.

29. That you're troubled by the fact that he is the most extreme advocate of abortion in public life, having pledged to Planned Parenthood as president he would like his first act as president to be signing a bill removing all restrictions on abortion, including partial birth abortion which 75% of all Americans oppose, is no reason.

30. That you're troubled by the fact that he engineered the defeat of a bill in the Illinois senate to protect babies who survive a failed abortion (and then lied about it), a bill that was identical to one that passed Congress unanimously, is no reason.

31. That you're troubled by his callous statement that, if either of his girls made a mistake, he wouldn't want them "punished with a baby," is no reason.

32. That you're troubled by his wife's statements that only now, for the first time in her adult life, she's proud of her country, is no reason.

33. That you're troubled by his wife's view of America as “just downright mean,” is no reason.

34. That you're troubled by his view of America as having done harm to the world for which he must apologize (in Berlin, to Germans no less), is no reason.

35. That you’re troubled that he so often seems ashamed of America, speaking ill of it, as in Berlin, is no reason.

36. That you're troubled that Obama didn't put hand to heart during the national anthem until his advisors told him to, is no reason.

37. That you're troubled that Obama left injured servicemen and women waiting at a military hospital in Germany when he canceled a scheduled visit to work out at a gym, is no reason.

38. That you're troubled that he is so naive that he can say tear down the walls between Muslims and Jews (as in Israel?) and there will be peace, is no reason.

39. That you're troubled by his statements in support of the Palestinian cause and his support by a former member of the terrorist-listed PLO Rashid Khalidi, who is now the director of the most rabid anti-Israel Middle East Studies department in the U.S, is no reason.

40. That you're troubled by his lukewarm and equivocal statements about Israel (for an undivided Jerusalem one day, opposed the next), is no reason.

41. That you're troubled by his vocal support by leaders of Hamas and the lack of support by a leading Israel statesman and author such as Natan Sharansky, is no reason.

42. That you're troubled that Obama's running mate Biden is reported to have told Israelis they had just better get used to the idea of a Iran with nuclear warheads on missiles that can destroy Israel, is no reason.

43. That you're troubled that Obama declined to appear at an anti-Iran rally sponsored by Jewish organizations and made sure that Sarah Palin was disinvited, is no reason.

44. That you're troubled that all Obama wants to do is talk and talk with the leader of our deadly enemy Iran and do nothing of consequence to stop their development of nuclear weapons, is no reason.

45. That you're troubled by his position well over a year ago to withdraw troops from Iraq on a fixed timetable regardless of conditions and to oppose the surge that was not only dangerous for our troops but would have resulted in al-Qaeda taking over Iraq as its new world headquarters, with riches like oil and gas that Afghanistan cannot even dream of, is no reason.

46. That you're troubled by his opposition to doing what is necessary to make America independent of hostile and unstable overseas energy suppliers by drilling for gas and oil domestically and by supporting nuclear power and clean coal along with all other alternatives, is no reason.

47. That you're troubled that Obama naively wants to cut defense spending in an increasingly dangerous world, and that Obama refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Islamic supremacist war against the non-Muslim world, is no reason.

48. That you're troubled that Obama actively and openly spoke in favor of his Muslim cousin Raila Odinga in his recent campaign for president of Kenya, during which he reportedly pledged to decree Islamic law for all Kenyans and ban Christian missionaries throughout the country, is no reason.

49. That you're troubled by his protectionist statements supporting unilaterally repealing NAFTA and opposing the free trade agreement with our hemishere's closest ally Colombia, and his lying about the facts to justify his opposition, is no reason.

50. That you're troubled that he wants to end secret ballots in union elections so as to increase the power of union intimidation, is no reason.

51. That you're troubled that he is so obsessed with himself, appears to be such a narcissist, that he can tell a campaign gathering that light will come down from above and convince them to vote for The Obama, is no reason.

52. That you're troubled that when you look at his record of accomplishment you only see that he has written two books about himself (partially fictionalized, possibly ghost written), graduated from college and law school, spent four years in socialist community organizing, and years in the Illinois senate (voting present 130 times) toeing the Democratic machine line -- and gave a nice speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, is no reason.

53. That you're troubled that he had for years as a major fundraiser (at least $250,000) Syrian-born political fixer and slumlord Tony Rezko, who has been convicted on 16 counts of political corruption, is no reason.

54. That you're troubled that while Rezko was being investigated on corruption charges and reportedly in debt for more than $10 million, Rezko's wife (said to have no assets of her own and income of only $37,000 as a city worker) somehow made it possible for him to buy his dream house in the upscale Hyde Park section of Chicago by buying an adjacent empty lot for full price ($625,000) while Obama purchased his house and lot for a $300,000 discount ($1.65 million) from the same seller on the same day, is no reason.

54. That you're troubled that Rezko's wife shortly thereafter sold a strip of land from the adjacent empty lot that Obama wanted for one-sixth her purchase price, paid for a fence Obama wanted between the properties, then sold off the lot to one of Rezko’s attorneys for an undisclosed price, is no reason.

55. That you're troubled by his plan to give $50 billion of American taxpayer money to the corrupt United Nations for a new anti-poverty program, is no reason.

56. That you’re troubled by his socialist “tax cut” plan to take more money from those who earn it – including imposing higher taxes on hundreds of thousands of small businesses -- and make welfare payments to the 44% (63 million) of American’s who pay no income tax, is no reason.

57. That you're troubled that Obama is hiding so much of his record, that he has refused to allow access to information or has blocked research about his past, such as his joint socialist programs with William Ayers in Chicago, the official State of Hawaii birth records, his Columbia College and Harvard Law School records and years and his ideological affiliations before joining Jeremiah Wright's church, is no reason.

58. That you’re troubled that his campaign has apparently raised tens of millions of dollars from sources outside the country in deliberately small sums (under $200) to avoid federal reporting requirements and the campaign has no controls to identify such sources, some of which are clearly fraudulent, whereas the McCain campaign can track every dollar, is no reason.

59. That you're troubled by what Michael Barone calls the thug tactics of the Obama campaign to silence all criticism with cries of “lies,” “discrimination,” racism,” including even discussion of Obama's socialist and machine partisan activities in Chicago, and that Barone fears an Obama Administration "thugocracy" stifling First Amendment rights, is no reason.

60. That you’re troubled that Obama’s socialism smacks of totalitarianism, as his campaign’s efforts to shut down free speech shows, is no reason.

61. That you’re troubled that Obama is rated the most far left senator in the U.S. Senate, a radical with a socialist agenda "to change" an America he is not proud of to something we will not like, and who is blind to the defense needs of the United States, is no reason.

62. That you're troubled that Obama is so "flexible" and evasive when it comes to telling the truth and just plain lies, is no reason.

63. That you're troubled that he could coldly dismiss the legitimate fears of the white grandmother who raised him as those of a "typical white person," is no reason.

64. That you're troubled that the Chicago Democratic machine that is running his campaign may be intending to take its patronage and payoff operations onto the national stage, at staggering cost to American taxpayers, is no reason.

65. That you're troubled by his elitist attitude towards simple working people, sniffing at them for clinging to their God and their guns, is no reason.

66. That you're troubled by the many, many times that Obama misstated historical facts to suit his own agenda, including misdescribing his past positions, and that the mainstream media did not challenge Obama’s statements, is no reason.

67. That you're troubled by the hypocrisy and double standard of the elite media that can proudly report that 95% of blacks now say they're voting for Obama, but can express horror that some white Americans might vote for McCain, which they assert can only be for racist reasons, is no reason.

68. That you're troubled that the elite media, which has decided it wants a Democratic black president now, whoever it is, qualified or not,, has deliberately avoided its obligations to the American public by refusing to do any detailed investigation into who Obama really is, his alliances, involvement in sleazy machine politics and his history, so that all that exists is the fictionalized narrative contrived by the Chicago Daley Democratic machine that is running his campaign, which leaves too many questions unanswered and voters still wondering "Who is Barack Obama?", is no reason.

69. That you're still troubled about who Obama really is though you are deeply troubled about what you know already and wonder what else he may be hiding, is no reason.

70. That you're troubled that Obama appears to be cleverly hiding who he is, presenting a false image to the world as postpartisan, moderate and a healer, when he is none of those, as his record shows, is no reason.

71. That you're troubled that Obama, if elected, may have a Democratic House and Senate, to implement his extreme socialist agenda of higher taxes, trade protectionism, stifling free enterprise, stifling free speech, enacting extreme pro-abortion policies such as reviving partial-birth abortion, relaxing our defense vigilance, cutting defense spending and increasing taxpayer funding to subversive organizations such as ACORN, is no reason.

72. That you're troubled that foreigners see things so much more clearly than our media and view the president candidate Obama as having a "nexus comprising black power anti-white racists, Jew-haters, revolutionary Marxists, unrepentant former terrorists and Chicago mobsters," is no reason.

73. That you're troubled that, as Professor Thomas Sowell notes, John McCain and Sarah Palin have not spent "decades working with people who hate America" and Obama has, is no reason.

74. That you're troubled that, as Professor Thomas Sowell also notes, the values of John McCain and Sarah Palin "are the values of this nation, whose loyalty and dedication to this country’s fundamental institutions are beyond question" and this cannot be said about Obama, is no reason.

75. That you're troubled by reports that as much as $63 million in campaign contributions to the Obama campaign in amounts smaller than the $200 required to be reported federally are from foreign sources, may be illegal, are not tracked by the Obama campaign though McCain tracks ALL his contributions, and more than 80% of all Obama contributions are not identified and may not be identifiable, is no reason.

76. That you're troubled that the Obama campaign had deliberately collected tens if not hundres of millions of illegal contributions by disabling all security settings on online credit card systems so as to facilitate fake and foreign contributions and contributions over the limit and have no controls for contributions under $200 though the McCain campaign has all such controls, obviously seeking to steal the election and disenfranchise American voters, is no reason.

77. That you're troubled by the Gestapo tactics against Obama critics like the attacks on Joe the Plumber and throwing reporters off the campaign plane whose organizations endorse McCain, is no reason.

That you're troubled that if you don't vote for McCain/Palin you will be doing a dangerous disservice to your country and generations of Americans is no reason, either.

Three Democrats stand out as responsible for costing Americans much of their life savings in the name of putting more people into affordable housing that turned out to be not affordable at all.

The three Democratic politicians who, not accidentally but deliberately, undermined the American financial system and caused this global catastrophe are Barack Obama, Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank and Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd.

What is driving the world collapse of the stock markets? What is causing the savings of Americans to shrivel up? Democratic policies.

Yes, it's the world financial credit freeze-up. But what triggered the freeze-up? Democratic policies.

It was the defaults of subprime mortgages packaged and sold by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac around the world. But what caused the defaults? Democratic policies.

Who made banks make unsafe mortgage loans? Well-intentioned Democrats who thought it would be "fair" for people who couldn't afford houses to get them.

Who made Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy up those bad loans and palm them off on the world? Democrats in Congress pressured by interest groups such as Obama's ally ACORN.

The cost to investors so far has been hundreds of billions of dollars. American workers who have invested in mutual funds and 401(k)s have suffered badly. People are losing their jobs because of this crisis.

The following account is the story the mainstream media will not tell the American people because they fear it would jeopardize an Obama victory. It will be a travesty and a tragedy for Americans if Democrats capture the White House and Congress after their policies brought on this worldwide catastrophe.

It will be too late after the election to document the involvement of Obama and his Democratic colleagues, whose zeal to change America into a socialist state brought disaster to the world. You know what will happen: Democrats will convene hearings with their favorite witnesses to blame anybody but themselves. Democrats don't like the free enterprise system they meddle with and in this case brought crashing down.

Democratic policies brought on the housing bubble and its collapse, the default of U.S. backed obligations all around the world and panic everywhere. Democrats are pointing the finger at Wall Street, but that doesn't wash. Wall Street was packaging and selling Fannie and Freddie mortgage loans for years. What happened was Fannie and Freddie started buying up so many subprime loans that the packages they were now sending around the world were junk, but still backed by the implicit guaranty of the U.S. government so people, banks and governments bought.

Fannie and Freddie abandoned their obligation to protect the taxpayers of the United States to please the Democratic congressman who were pressing them to expand the subprime mortgage loan market by buying risky loans and giving banks and mortgage companies more money to make more risky loans.

President Bush and Senate Republicans including Senator McCain pleaded with Congress in 2005 and 2006 to pass legislation to get Fannie and Freddie under control. Senate Republicans even got a bill to do just that out of the Senate Banking Committee (S. 190), but Senate Democrats led by Senator Harry Reid and Christopher Dodd, with the vocal backing of Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, said there was no crisis and blocked a vote on the Senate floor. As a Democratic U.S. Senator Obama supported their action.

How key was Obama's role? Obama helped train ACORN operatives in the early 1990s how to bully and intimidate banks and bankers into making risky mortgage loans to those who couldn't afford them, shouting cries of "discrimination" and "racism." Obama was one of the very first pushing for such unsafe loans to be made. Those cries kept building through the '90s and into this decade. As a result, riskier and riskier mortgage loans were made and Fannie and Freddie was pressured more and more by Democrats in Congress to buy the unsafe mortgage loans and send them off in packages to the world as if they were of the same quality they had been in the past. They weren't. Obama lived to see the colossal damage done by his policy of intimidation of banks and indeed to help give the final push to disaster by opposing reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a senator in 2005 and 2006. Despite the world chaos and massive losses to American investors, Obama as late as 2007 was still insisting subprime mortgages were a "good idea."

To read about the roles of the other two principal destroyers of savings, click here. Also, look for the heading Categories on the right side of this website and click on Democratic Financial Crisis.

There is no question that ACORN, Obama's partner since 1991, is doing its best to steal the presidential election for Obama. It is being investigated for fraudulent voter registration activity in more than a dozen states. ACORN recently announced it had registered 1.3 million new voters; how many of those new voters are really ineligible or "repeats" or "dead"? So far, false registrations in the tens of thousands have been thrown out, but it's a safe bet that many, many more will slip through the screening process.

Obama in his early years as a lawyer actually trained ACORN workers in voter registration and ran a registration drive with ACORN himself. He also taught them how to browbeat banks and bankers into making mortgage loans they never should have -- the very beginning of the subprime loan disaster that has brought down the world's financial system and cost investors hundreds of billions of dollars.

What Obama thought was a great idea, beating up banks to make mortgage loans to uncreditworthy borrowers, mushroomed over the years with ACORN very much involved in pressuring banks, Congress and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The subprime loan boom created the housing bubble that ended in its inevitable collapse and the worst stock market fall since 1929 and a world credit freeze-up. Obama, in 2006, opposing legislation putting an end to Fannie and Freddie buying up these dangerously risky subprime loans, insisted the house of cards he helped create was "a good idea."

And guess who's been helping fund ACORN? The taxpayers. Taxpayers helped fund the disaster that has befallen them. Belatedly, there are now demands for investigations and an end to taxpayer assistance to this criminal enterprise.

Obama did not cause this catastrophe all by himself. In Congress, Democratic Senators Dodd and Reid worked to block legislation in 2005 and 2006 from getting a vote in the Senate after Senate Republicans voted S. 190 out of committee. Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts was prominent at hearings insisting that Fannie and Freddie were sound and in no trouble and didn't need a new regulator and didn't need to stop buying the subprime loans banks and mortgage lenders were more than happy to get rid of.

These Democratic economic policies have cost the nation, taxpayers and investors dearly.

Barack Obama's efforts in the 1990s to force banks to make unsafe mortgage loans was his early attempt to "spread the wealth." It ended in catastrophe.

Obama's new plan to "spread the wealth" which he inadvertently disclosed to Joe the Plumber will likewise lead to catastrophe for the American and world economies.

The sane vote is for a Republican Congress and McCain/Palin. But will Obama's ACORN deliver enough fraudulent votes to bring more grief to America?


October 23, 2008
Obama's Red Shirts
Voter Fraud: Republican leaders want to defund and criminally investigate ACORN. Why should taxpayer dollars fund a "nonpartisan" organization that proclaims "Obama needs ACORN, and we need Obama."

ACORN calls itself a "nonpartisan" group seeking to register minorities and the poor. But its political arm has endorsed Barack Obama, who both trained the group's staff and sued the state of Illinois on their behalf. And Obama's campaign has given ACORN affiliates $800,000 for a get-out-the-vote drive.

In fact, it's a get-out-the-vote for Obama drive as evidenced by a video recently aired by Fox News that showed just how "nonpartisan" the group is. It was taken at ACORN's national convention where Rep. Maxine Waters spoke to a sea of ACORN organizers wearing their uniform of red baseball caps and shirts.

Waters, to great applause and cheers, said: "This has been the worst presidency that this country has ever known. But that's all right. We're getting rid of his (President Bush's) ass. He's got to go."

The next speaker, an ACORN representative defined who "we" meant. She said: "We're getting Obama for president! Obama needs us, ACORN, but we need Obama. Don't we? Yeah!"

A list of government funding of ACORN released by Boehner reveals that some $31 million in taxpayer dollars have been given to the group since 1998. Using Federal Register records, Boehner found ACORN got the money through 54 individual grants in 11 different states.

They would have gotten much more if the original Democratic version of the federal rescue bill had passed. It gave to groups such as ACORN 20% of any profits from the future resale of acquired mortgages, a massive potential rip-off of taxpayers.

"House Republicans worked together to stop the majority from using taxpayer dollars to fill a slush fund created just for ACORN, but now we must go further to turn off the spigot of federal grants on which ACORN depends," Boehner said last week.

Cornyn notes that, due to the efforts of ACORN's red shirts in "Harris County, Texas, which includes the City of Houston, election officials either rejected or discovered serious deficiencies with nearly 40% of the 27,000 registration cards filed by ACORN from January through July of this year."

ACORN will say its voting activities are separate and not funded by the taxpayer. But money is fungible. Cornyn recently wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, arguing "that because the violations of federal voting laws by ACORN employees appear to be so widespread, ACORN and its affiliates should be investigated as a criminal enterprise."

We agree. Those orchestrating this attempt to steal the 2008 election should go to jail.

First it was Obama saying that Reverend Wright of the "God Damn America" videos was not the Jeremiah Wright he knew over 20 years. That statement was quickly exposed as utter nonsense.

Then it was unrepentant terrorist bomber and self-described communist William Ayers Obama tried to pass off as just somebody from the neighborhood when in fact they worked together for several years dispensing over $150 million in an attempt to make socialists out of Chicago's teachers and students.

Now Obama is trying to disassociate himself from ACORN, the radical socialist organization in the forefront of intimidating banks and bankers to make subprime mortgage loans to low-income and minorities whose credit did not warrant the loans. ACORN also has a long history of voter registration fraud, not only in Chicago, but across the nation. ACORN, like most socialists, want to replace the free enterprise system with an authoritarian socialist state and all means to accomplish this end are allowable, including violent intimidation and, shall we say, careless and negligent voter registration efforts. Despite -- or because of -- this history the Obama campaign paid over $800,000 to an ACORN unit for voter registration work this year.

Obama first ran a voter registration project with ACORN in the early 1990s, so he has to be familiar with its long history of accusations, investigations and convictions involving fraudulent voter registration. Obama trained ACORN workers in the art of pressuring banks to make unsound loans. As a lawyer he even represented ACORN in a law suit to force the Clinton Administration to loosen mortgage loan standards even farther. In the last couple of years Obama said his views were still pretty much what they were during his ACORN days and this past November he was quoted as saying he had been fighting alongside ACORN" his entire career. ACORN's political arm has endorsed him for president and proudly announced it has registered 1.7 million this year; ACORN is being investigated by public officials in at least 12 states for registration fraud in this election cycle. (For voter fraud in 2006 ACORN workers went to jail in Washington State.) Again, Obama' denials are total nonsense, but the mainstream media is not calling him on them, but is giving him a pass as it has done for Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers.

Stanley Kurtz, an independent researcher from Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center, sets the record straight on yet another of Obama's prevarications (ok, lies). Read "Inside Obama's ACORN" in National Review of May 29, 2008 and Kurtz's follow-up October 8th in the same publication. Also, see this IBD editorial.

We have covered ACORN's close relationship with Obama over several months. For example, click here and here.

Just as Obama learned from his first foray into community organizing it would be easier and more effective to get inside the system to effect socialist change, so too did ACORN. In his book Obama admits he went to Harvard Law School to learn how to game the system at the highest levels. ACORN followed the same route: It switched from holding city council protests to working the system. Rather than fight from outside, infiltrate the system with voter registration drives to elect your people and use the law courts to change such things as mortgage loan regulations to force more loans to be made to those with subpar credit. All along the way, Obama supported ACORN, using his position on charitable boards to pour money into ACORN's radical agenda.

McCain is now running ads detailing the Obama-ACORN connections and his preposterous denials as well as the long alliance with unrepentant terrorist and communist William Ayers in promoting socialist goals, which included, guess what, funding ACORN.

Are you aware of how Obama and his campaign supporters are encouraging violations of the First Amendment and using threats and intimidation -- even by public prosecutors --to silence all criticism -- indeed, all discussion -- of his associations with haters of America, his Marxist socialist involvement in the creation of the housing bubble and collapse and the world financial crisis, his use of the race card, his extremist postions on abortion and infanticide and his constant misuse of the truth (which some call "lying")?

Andrew McCarthy, the former federal prosecutor who sent the blind shiekh who mastreminded the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 to prison, details how Obama and his supporters are doing exactly that right now.

Sen. Obama and his supporters despise free expression, the bedrock of American self-determinism and hence American democracy. What’s more, like garden-variety despots, they see law not as a means of ensuring liberty but as a tool to intimidate and quell dissent....
The Prophet of Change is only to be admired, not questioned. In the stretch run of an American election, there is to be no examination of a candidate for the world’s most powerful office — whether about his radical record, the fringe Leftism that lies beneath his thin, centrist veneer, his enabling of infanticide, his history of race-conscious politics, his proposals for unprecedented confiscation and distribution of private property (including a massive transfer of American wealth to third-world dictators through international bureaucrats), his ruinous economic policies that have helped leave Illinois a financial wreck, his place at the vortex of the credit market implosion that has put the U.S. economy on the brink of meltdown, his aggressive push for American withdrawal and defeat in Iraq, his easy gravitation to America-hating activists, be they preachers like Jeremiah Wright, terrorists like Bill Ayers, or Communists like Frank Marshall Davis. Comment on any of this and risk indictment or, at the very least, government harassment and exorbitant legal fees.

In his narcissism and his inability to abide any perceived criticism, the Prophet of Change resembles an earlier prophet, Muhammad. Anyone criticizing Muhammad, even in poetry, was to be killed. That certainly put a chill on criticism.

For example, in St. Louis,

local law-enforcement authorities, dominated by Democrat-party activists, were threatening libel prosecutions against Obama’s political opposition. County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch and City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, abetted by a local sheriff and encouraged by the Obama campaign, warned that members of the public who dared speak out against Obama during the campaign’s crucial final weeks would face criminal libel charges — if, in the judgment of these conflicted officials, such criticism of their champion was “false.”

McCarthy cites several other disturbing incidents in which Obama supporters have sought to squelch discussion about Obama and then analyzes how those using their offices to threaten free speech can be prosecuted. Federal fraud laws are one way:

[F]ederal law (Section 1346 of the penal code) prohibits schemes to deprive citizens of their “intangible right of honest services” from their public officials. Prosecutors and police who abuse their enormous powers in order to promote the election of their preferred candidates violate their public trust.

But the main problem, McCarthy points out, with what Obama and his supporters are doing is their assault on our American way of life.

Regardless of the legal landscape, however, it is the political consequences that matter. Day after day, Obama demonstrates that the “change” he represents is a severing of our body politic from the moorings that make us America. If we idly stand by while he and his thugs kill free political debate, we die too.

McCarthy has it right: "Stifling political debate with threats of prosecution is not the “rule of law” — it’s tyranny."

Dr. Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution in economics and public policy, points out how crazy it is to look to Congress to develop a solution for the financial crisis when they were the people who caused it in the first place. Special mention is given to the two chief culprits Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

Whatever is done, Dr. Sowell says, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be wound down and put out of our misery as soon as practicable. No more private corporations with federal "implicit" guaranties. Brilliantly right, as always.

Bailout Politics Thomas Sowell Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nothing could more painfully demonstrate what is wrong with Congress than the current financial crisis.

Among the Congressional "leaders" invited to the White House to devise a bailout "solution" are the very people who have for years created the risks that have now come home to roost.

Five years ago, Barney Frank vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and said "I do not see" any "possibility of serious financial losses to the treasury."

Moreover, he said that the federal government has "probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing."

Earlier this year, Senator Christopher Dodd praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" when other financial institutions were cutting back on mortgage loans. He too said that they "need to do more" to help subprime borrowers get better loans.

In other words, Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.

OBAMA'S ROLE IN SUBPRIME MORTGAGE SCANDAL

While Democrats in Congress were pressuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to plunge deeper and deeper into the subprime swamp, there were activists on the frontlines doing all they could to force banks to make loans that in the ordinary course they wouldn't make. Why not? Because those not getting mortgages had bad credit histories, not enough money for reasonable downpayments or lived in areas where housing values were deteriorating.

One of the hotbeds where forcing banks to make loans sane bankers wouldn't make was Chicago, about the time Barack Obama came back from law school to take his community organizing to a higher level.

Since Obama has said he learned more as a community organizer than he did in college and law school many have wondered just what a community organizer does.

Stanley Kurtz has done an astonishingly thorough job of recreating how one community organization ACORN, playing the race card charging discrimination, using intimidation and confrontation and pressure on regulatory officials, forced banks to make mortgage loans they otherwise would not make. His report is also a devastating exposé of Obama's Marxist socialism in action. Wealth redistribution is his goal: Take from the haves and give it to the have-nots.

Read it all and you will see how ACORN and Obama worked the levers of black power to undermine sound financial policies. The result of their efforts, along with similar ones throughout the nation, has been a financial disaster of historic proportions.

Key Kurtz excerpts:

Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit. In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes - and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers. In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.
ONE key pioneer of ACORN's subprime-loan shakedown racket was Madeline Talbott - an activist with extensive ties to Barack Obama. She was also in on the ground floor of the disastrous turn in Fannie Mae's mortgage policies.
By September 1992, The Chicago Tribune was describing Talbott's program as "affirmative-action lending" and ACORN was issuing fact sheets bragging about relaxations of credit standards that it had won on behalf of minorities.

And Talbott continued her effort to, as she put it, drag banks "kicking and screaming" into high-risk loans.

What made this [pilot] program different from others, the [Chicago Sun-Times said], was the participation of Fannie Mae - which had agreed to buy up the loans. "If this pilot program works," crowed Talbott, "it will send a message to the lending community that it's OK to make these kind of loans."

Well, the pilot program "worked," and Fannie Mae's message that risky loans to minorities were "OK" was sent. The rest is financial-meltdown history.

IT would be tough to find an "on the ground" community organizer more closely tied to the subprime-mortgage fiasco than Madeline Talbott. And no one has been more supportive of Madeline Talbott than Barack Obama.
[Obama] returned to Chicago in the early '90s, just as Talbott was starting her pressure campaign on local banks. Chicago ACORN sought out Obama's legal services for a "motor voter" case and partnered with him on his 1992 "Project VOTE" registration drive.

In those years, he also conducted leadership-training seminars for ACORN's up-and-coming organizers. That is, Obama was training the army of ACORN organizers who participated in Madeline Talbott's drive against Chicago's banks.

More than that, Obama was funding them. As he rose to a leadership role at Chicago's Woods Fund, he became the most powerful voice on the foundation's board for supporting ACORN and other community organizers. In 1995, the Woods Fund substantially expanded its funding of community organizers - and Obama chaired the committee that urged and managed the shift.

The Woods Fund report makes it clear Obama was fully aware of the intimidation tactics used by ACORN's Madeline Talbott in her pioneering efforts to force banks to suspend their usual credit standards. Yet he supported Talbott in every conceivable way. He trained her personal staff and other aspiring ACORN leaders, he consulted with her extensively, and he arranged a major boost in foundation funding for her efforts. And, as the leader of another charity, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Obama channeled more funding Talbott's way - ostensibly for education projects but surely supportive of ACORN's overall efforts.
IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mortgage crisis, look to ACORN's Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

Then you'll truly know what community organizers do.


Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC.

So the rescue bill failed and the media immediately began babbling about how the Republicans in the House didn't come through. In fact, the majority Democrats have all the votes they need to pass a bill without a single Republican vote. Democrat Speaker of the House Pelosi did not crack the whip of party discipline and 95 Democrats voted no, when if only 11 more of them had voted yes the bill would have passed.

Much has been made of Pelosi's highly partisan pre-vote speech ladling blame for the financial crisis on the Bush Administration and Republican policies. Is that the way to build a coalition on a must-pass bill?

Some have speculated that Members of the House may have decided Pelosi knew something they didn't know, that perhaps the bill wasn't all that do-or-die or else she wouldn't have leveled such a partisan shot against Republicans. Calls to Congress were running 40 or more to 1 against the bailout bill, so many Members were nervous about voting yes. Well, if Pelosi didn't think the bill was all that important, it's not surprising that a number of Republicans (who despised the bill) and 95 Democrats voted no.

Such reckless Democratic incompetence in economic matters -- and governing -- is taking a savage toll on the American economy and the life savings of all Americans.

Those who track such figures note that the losses in the U.S. stock markets at the close of business after the bill's defeat were $1.1 trillion, some $400 billion more than the rescue bill would have authorized be spent to stabilize the financial markets.

Principally responsible for the housing bubble and its collapse is of course Democratic House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, who blocked the many demands for reining in Fannie and Freddie by the Bush Administration and Republicans, including Senator McCain, going back to 2003 and continuing into 2007. Now Pelosi has added one trillion dollars to the Frank-induced losses as American savers watch in horror as their life savings shrivel.

More losses are almost certain to follow as rescue proponents regroup and the clock ticks on without a solution. No official business is expected in Congress till Wednesday or, more likely, Thursday.

UPDATE: A Karl Rove analysis of the vote and other sources indicate that Speaker Pelosi allowed several of her senior colleagues, including House Chairmen, and 16 vulnerable freshmen to vote no. Republicans saw and heard this and concluded that Pelosi apparently had some inside information and didn't think the vote was such a big deal. So many Republicans voted what they felt: It was a bad bill, representing too much government intervention in the economy.

Also, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Obama campaign co-chairman, from Chicago, voted no. A subcommittee chairman on Barney Frank's committee voted no.

SECOND UPDATE: A Republican on Capitol Hill explains why the bill is viewed as bad by Republicans and offers a few alternatives that would be more in keeping with a market economy:

And as for alternatives:

- how about reinforcing FDIC to give people confidence in their savings? Maybe more support for money markets?

- How about cutting corporate taxes or cap gains taxes?

- How about buying up (or financing the purchase of) the AAA securities that currently are having trouble moving but are not “toxic,” in order to increase liquidity and help with possible insolvency for healthier institutions rather than the old line investment banks?

- How about doing something about the silliness of the $62 Trillion Credit Default Swap market (e.g. the margin requirements, etc…)?

- How about immediately changing mark-to-market rules?

- And – heaven forbid – how about belt-tightening in Washington? Don’t hold your breath – but imagine what a signal that would send – a freeze in discretionary spending, a moratorium on earmarks and a real plan to educate America about entitlements and talk about the need to get our fiscal house in order.

THIRD UPDATE: It now appears that Pelosi planned it all. She gave her people a pass, figuring the Republicans would provide enough votes to put the bill through anf then the Democrats would use their votes to beat them over the head in the November election. Too clever and her cynical politicizing cost the nation's markets one trillion dollars.

In late 2004 there was a hearing in the House of Representatives about the fraudulent accounting, excessive executive compensation and increasing risks at Fannie Mae. This video shows how Democrats and Republicans responded to the warning contained in the regulator's report calling for reforms to be enacted by Congress. Needless to say, Republicans supported reforms, but House Democrats, led by ranking committtee member Barney Frank of Massachusetts, dismissed the report of dangerous risk as fiction, maintaining that in fact there were no problems at Fannie Mae.

It is Democratic opposition to reining Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in that created the housing bubble and its inevitable collapse and the worldwide financial meltdown that has followed. All of the money lost in 401(k)s and other savings is due to the dereliction of duty on the part of Congressional Democrats more interested in currying favor with their special interest constituencies and obtaining campaign contributions and other goodies from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than protecting the economy of this country and the life savings of hard-working Americans. Even former president Clinton agrees that Democrats in Congress blocking Republican attempts at reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are responsible for this financial crisis.


To round out the sorry picture of Democratic malfeasance, the ten-minute video included in our earlier entry "History of the "Affordable Housing" Bubble and Collapse" is a fitting companion to this video.

No one can say the financial collapse that $700 billion of taxpayer money is being asked for to fix wasn't seen coming. Trouble is those who could have stopped it, didn't want to change their ways and blocked proposed reforms.

Soon after taking office, Bush had his hands full with the Clinton recession and 9/11. But by 2003, he proposed what the New York Times called "the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."

The plan included a new regulator for Fannie and Freddie, one that could boost capital mandates and look at how they managed risk.

Even after regulators in 2003 uncovered a scheme by Fannie and Freddie executives to overstate earnings by $10.6 billion to boost bonuses, Democrats killed reform.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Rep. Frank, then-ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.

North Carolina Democrat Melvin Watt accused the White House of "weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing."

In 2005, then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress: "We are placing the total financial system of the future at substantial risk."

McCain Urged Changes

That year, Sen. John McCain, one of three sponsors of a Fannie-Freddie reform bill, said: "If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole."

Sen. Harry Reid — now Majority Leader — accused the GOP of trying to "cripple the ability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to carry out their mission of expanding homeownership."


Saddest Thing About This Mess: Congress Had Chance To Stop It

There is a lot to absorb about the financial crisis that the nation finds itself in. No one can be certain what the best remedy is to get the credit markets unstuck and to keep the economy from falling into recession. Hopefully, what is hammered out this weekend will start moving things in the right direction.

However, how we got into this mess is not so difficult to understand -- good intentions and venality run wild. Democratic housing programs for the low income and minorities spun out of control and Democratic supporters of the programs successfully blocked efforts to rein them in and keep them from exploding. "Affordable housing" was not affordable.

This ten-minute video tells the story. There is a lot in it. To read some of the quoted articles, just push the pause button. Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank is of course a featured participant, since he was a key player in blocking reform in 2003 and later.

As for accuracy, the maker of the video invites one and all to check the facts by googling or however else one wishes to proceed.

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