Monday, 29 September 2008

BARACK OBAMA'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN

Ken Berwitz

Here is Stanley Kurtz' superb article from today's New York Post,which lays out Barack Obama's involvement in the financial meltdown.  As you will see, it is loaded with facts and references --- facts and references which most mainstream media seem determined to ignore:

O'S DANGEROUS PALS

By STANLEY KURTZ

September 29, 2008 --

WHAT exactly does a "community organizer" do? Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: 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.

THE seeds of today's financial meltdown lie in the Commu nity Reinvestment Act - a law passed in 1977 and made riskier by unwise amendments and regulatory rulings in later decades.

CRA was meant to encourage banks to make loans to high-risk borrowers, often minorities living in unstable neighborhoods. That has provided an opening to radical groups like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to abuse the law by forcing banks to make hundreds of millions of dollars in "subprime" loans to often uncreditworthy poor and minority customers.

Any bank that wants to expand or merge with another has to show it has complied with CRA - and approval can be held up by complaints filed by groups like ACORN.

In fact, intimidation tactics, public charges of racism and threats to use CRA to block business expansion have enabled ACORN to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions from America's financial institutions.

Banks already overexposed by these shaky loans were pushed still further in the wrong direction when government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying up their bad loans and offering them for sale on world markets.

Fannie and Freddie acted in response to Clinton administration pressure to boost homeownership rates among minorities and the poor. However compassionate the motive, the result of this systematic disregard for normal credit standards has been financial disaster.

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.

Long the director of Chicago ACORN, Talbott is a specialist in "direct action" - organizers' term for their militant tactics of intimidation and disruption. Perhaps her most famous stunt was leading a group of ACORN protesters breaking into a meeting of the Chicago City Council to push for a "living wage" law, shouting in defiance as she was arrested for mob action and disorderly conduct. But her real legacy may be her drive to push banks into making risky mortgage loans.

In February 1990, Illinois regulators held what was believed to be the first-ever state hearing to consider blocking a thrift merger for lack of compliance with CRA. The challenge was filed by ACORN, led by Talbott. Officials of Bell Federal Savings and Loan Association, her target, complained that ACORN pressure was undermining its ability to meet strict financial requirements it was obligated to uphold and protested being boxed into an "affirmative-action lending policy." The following years saw Talbott featured in dozens of news stories about pressuring banks into higher-risk minority loans.

IN April 1992, Talbott filed an other precedent-setting com plaint using the "community support requirements" of the 1989 savings-and-loan bailout, this time against Avondale Federal Bank for Savings. Within a month, Chicago ACORN had organized its first "bank fair" at Malcolm X College and found 16 Chicago-area financial institutions willing to participate.

Two months later, aided by ACORN organizer Sandra Maxwell, Talbott announced plans to conduct demonstrations in the lobbies of area banks that refused to attend an ACORN-sponsored national bank "summit" in New York. She insisted that banks show a commitment to minority lending by lowering their standards on downpayments and underwriting - for example, by overlooking bad credit histories.

By September 1992, The Chicago Tribune was describing Talbott's program as "affirma- tive-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. A September 1993 story in The Chicago Sun-Times presents her as the leader of an initiative in which five area financial institutions (including two of her former targets, now plainly cowed - Bell Federal Savings and Avondale Federal Savings) were "participating in a $55 million national pilot program with affordable-housing group ACORN to make mortgages for low- and moderate-income people with troubled credit histories."

What made this program different from others, the paper added, 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.

When Obama was just a budding community organizer in Chicago, Talbott was so impressed that she asked him to train her personal staff.

He 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.

That committee's report on strategies for funding groups like ACORN features all the key names in Obama's organizer network. The report quotes Talbott more than any other figure; Sandra Maxwell, Talbott's ACORN ally in the bank battle, was also among the organizers consulted.

MORE, the Obama-supervised Woods Fund report ac knowledges the problem of getting donors and foundations to contribute to radical groups like ACORN - whose confrontational tactics often scare off even liberal donors and foundations.

Indeed, the report brags about pulling the wool over the public's eye. The Woods Fund's claim to be "nonideological," it says, has "enabled the Trustees to make grants to organizations that use confrontational tactics against the business and government 'establishments' without undue risk of being criticized for partisanship."

Hmm. Radicalism disguised by a claim to be postideological. Sound familiar?

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 return, Talbott proudly announced her support of Obama's first campaign for state Senate, saying, "We accept and respect him as a kindred spirit, a fellow organizer."

IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mort gage 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

This is the same Stanley Kurtz who has spent lonely weeks poring through the Annenberg Challenge files - which mainstream media have also ignored. 

Hey, why would news venues want to bother with indisputable proof that when Barack Obama said he barely knew domestic terrorist william ayers, he was lying to our faces? 

Why would they care that ayers HIRED Obama and they jointly distributed 50 to 100 million dollars to urban schools and who knows what else in Chicago? 

And could there possibly be a reason to want to know specifically where that money went and whether it did any good, or helped anyone, or lined anyone's pockets?

This is why it is so disheartening to watch the 2008 election unfold.  Mainstream media are backing a horse and doing everything they can to pull it across the finish line. 

If they were doing so only on their editorial pages that would be one thing.  But it is being done on their news pages.  Every day.

Voters who have been mesmerized by mainstream media's invented version of Barack Obama have a little over a month to wake up.  God I hope they do.


WAY TO GO NANCY

Ken Berwitz

The latest version of the bailout has failed in house.  About 40% of all Democrats (95 in total) joined 70% of Republicans to say "no way Nancy".  Just before the vote we were being told that there would be no more than 40 Democratic defections.

Has there been a less competent speaker of the house in US history?  If so, tell me that person's name because I sure don't know it.

She couldn't even hold 40% of HER OWN PARTY.  Yikes.

Un-Biased Well, if you wanted his name, it's Newt Gingrich. His own party conspired to cast him out as Speaker. That's a bit worse than carrying the majority of your party's votes. Oh, and what happened to the other 30% of the Republican votes? Did they all abstain? (04/30/09)

steve schneider apparently the genius decided it would be a good time to blame the republicans, whose support she needed, for the current crisis just before the vote and now the stock market is in a free fall. thank you clueless nancy. steve (09/29/08)

ROBERT WITKIN MAYBE JAY LENO, DAVID LETTERMAN, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE SHOULD SPOOF NANCY PILL-LOUSY INSTEAD OF CONTINUING TO BASH SARAH PALIN. DON'T THE IDIOTIC LIBERAL- LEFT WING MEDIA GET IT? THERE GARBAGE DOES NOT WORK. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE TOO SMART AND FED UP WITH THIS CRAP. WOW! AM I TIED OF BARBRA (-HER MOUTH IS THE ONLY THING BIGGER THAN HER NOSE) STREISAND, ALEC- (LET ME CURSE AT MY DAUGHTER) BALDWIN- THESE MORONS JUST DO NOT GET IT AT ALL.. WHY DID THE EMMY AWARDS LAST WEEK RECEIVE ITS LOWEST RATING EVER- ??????ANSWER IT TURNED INTO A BARRACK- NOBAMA- PEP RALLY- THAT'S WHY PEOPLE TURNED IT OFF. WHO THE HELL CARES WHAT THESE IDIOTS THINK? WILL ANY ONE WITH A BRAIN HAVE ITS VOTE EFFECTED BY WHAT ALEC BALDWIN SAYS OR THINKS? WHO CARES. FINALLY KEN YOU ARE CORRECT IN YOUR RECENT BLOG ABOUT NOBAMA AND HIS PLOY AND COMEBACK TO JOHN MCCAIN ABOUT THE SOLDIERS BRACELET. MCCAIN HAS WARN IT AND TALKED ABOUT FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND LONG BEFORE HE WAS A CANDIDATE. NOW NOBAMA HAS A COMEBACK- HE TOO NOW HAS A BRACELET. AMAZING- HE DID NOT KNOW THE SOLDIERS NAME- HE COULD NOT EVEN FIND HIS WRIST. JUST MORE BS, MORE GALL AND I AM SORRY TO SAY THE LIBERAL MEDIA WILL NOT SAY A WORD OR REPORT IT. I WILL TELL YOU WHY NOBAMA COULD NOT FIND THE BRACELET- HIS HAND WAS IN HIS POCKET LOOKING FOR HIS HEARING AID AS HE ADMITS HE DOES NOT HEAR TO WELL - WHEN HE IS IN CHURCH FOR 20 YEARS LISTENING TO THE HATE SPEWING REVEREND WRONG. (09/29/08)


PALIN'S ZONING VARIANCE. AND A FACIAL TOO!!!

Ken Berwitz

As the media continue to blithely ignore apparently unimportant issues like Barack Obama lying to our faces regarding his relationship with william ayers, blithely lying to our faces about voting against BAIPA (the Born Again Infant Protection Act) and blithely lying to our faces about knowing who and what jeremiah wright is, we get the following article.  It comes to us from www.sweetness-light.com, whose comments on it are included:

AP: Palin Got Zoning Variance And Facial!

More hard-hitting investigative journalism from the laughable Associated Press:

[AP photo and caption:] Protesters hold signs at a Hold Palin Accountable rally organized by Alaskans For Truth, in Anchorage, Alaska Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008. Hundreds of people showed up to demand Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCains GOP running mate, uphold her promise to cooperate with the state Legislatures investigation into her firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

AP Investigation: Palin got zoning aid, gifts  

Sep 28
By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE

WASILLA, Alaska (AP) - Though Sarah Palin depicts herself as a pit bull fighting good-old-boy politics, in her years as mayor she and her friends received special benefits more typical of small-town politics as usual, an Associated Press investigation shows.

When Palin needed to sell her house during her last year as Wasilla mayor, she got the city to sign off on a special zoning exceptionand did so without keeping a promise to remove a potential fire hazard.

She gladly accepted gifts from merchants: A free awesome facial she raved about in a thank-you note to a spa. The absolutely gorgeous flowers she received from a welding supply store. Even fresh salmon to take home.

She also stepped in to help friends or neighbors with City Hall dealings. She asked the City Council to add a friend to the list of speakers at a 2002 meetingand then the friend got up and asked them to give his radio station advertising business.

That year, records show, she tried to help a neighbor and political contributor fighting City Hall over his small lakeside development. Palin wanted the city to refund some of the mans fees, but the city attorney told the mayor she didnt have the authority

Some of her first actions after being elected mayor in 1996 raised possible ethical red flags: She cast the tie-breaking vote to propose a tax exemption on aircraft when her father-in-law owned one, and backed the citys repeal of all taxes a year later on planes, snow machines and other personal property. She also asked the council to consider looser rules for snow machine races. Palin and her husband, Todd, a champion racer, co-owned a snow machine store at the time

She sometimes followed a cautious path in the face of real or potential conflictsfor example, stepping away from the table in 1997 when the council considered a grant for the Iron Dog snow machine race in which her husband competes.

But mostly, like other Wasilla elected officials at the time, she took an active role on issues that directly affected and sometimes benefited her. Her efforts to clear the way for the $327,000 sale of the Palin family home on Lake Wasilla is an example.

Two months before Palins tenure as mayor ended in 2002, she asked city planning officials to forgive zoning violations so she could sell her house. Palin had a buyer, but he wouldnt close the deal unless she persuaded the city to waive the violations with a code variance

The Palins house was built by the original owner too close to the shoreline and too close to adjacent properties on each side, including a carport that stretched so far over it nearly connected the two houses.

The Palins didnt create the zoning problems, but they should have known about them when they bought the house, wrote Susan Lee, a code compliance officer with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, in response to the Palins request

On Sept. 10, 2002, the seven-member Wasilla Planning Commission unanimously approved a variance for both sides of the property, with language covering all existing structures. Less than a week later, the Palins signed a deed to sell the house to Henry Nosek.

The carport was never removed

How many professional investigators in Alaska does it take to smear a Sarah Palin?

The Associated Press is breathlessly outraged about Sarah Palin getting a facial and free salmon while our country faces a financial meltdown orchestrated by the Democrat Party, including Joe Biden and yes, Barack Obama.

[Palin] she took an active role on issues that directly affected and sometimes benefited her.

Something of course that Joe Biden nor Barack Obama have never done.

If it werent for their bias we would have no media at all. Which, come to think of it, is the case.

We have a one party propaganda machine which pretends to be our watchdog media.

By the way, here is a photo from the anti-Palin demonstration mentioned in the APs photo caption at the top:

(Click to enlarge)

See the hundreds of people? We dont either.

But we do see how the AP endlessly carries water for their Democrat masters.

If Barack Obama wins this election, he certainly will have people to thank for it, won't he?

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


AN INTERESTING E-MAIL EXCHANGE

Ken Berwitz

A few days ago I linked readers to a video which explained how the financial meltdown we are experiencing came to be.

Here is what I think to be a pretty interesting e-mail exchange regarding that video.  I am intentionally not mentioning which specific people are being referred to, not even their genders.

A member of my family sent the video on to an Obama-supporting friend, and then received the following e-mail from that friend's son:

Nice try pinning it on the shvartzes! Sorry, I mean "low income credit buyers" and Democrats. It's the exact inverse of the truth, which is that this crisis was brought on by wall street's "masters of the universe", and benefited them above all. (Hint: the mortgates aren't the full story by any means).

Here's one of your own -- a conservative -- talking about this, since you (or your brother) presumably won't listen to anything I have to say:

http://www.stephenbainbridge.com/index.php/punditry/they_make_you_embarrassed_to_be_a_conservative/

Hey, how about some integrity here? We've had a Repulican adminstration since 2000, and a non-veto proof republican congress from 2000-2006. Own it. This has been a nightmare of a presidency. And it hasn't been so good for Israel, either. Think about it.

Sorry, (family member), but I'll be voting for the Marxist Negro Muslim no matter what propaganda your hater brother coughs up.

Take care,

(For those unaware of the word, "shvartzes" is a derogatory Yiddish and German term for Blacks.)

Lovely.  Just lovely.

Here is my response, which I asked my family member to send back to him:

My response is in the same order as your comments about the video and about me:
-I don't like the term "shvartzes".  It is derogatory and offensive.  I never use it.  If you have anything else to say to me and I see the term "shvartzes" I won't read a word past it.
 
-No one said Wall St. is blameless in this mess.  The point of the video is that subprime loans were pushed on financial institutions and they were pressured to give mortgages they never should have given.  Once the situation was in place it was a candyland for opportunists at financial institutions as well.  But that candyland was created by people and institutions which the video lays out in fully referenced detail.  With all your huffing and puffing you did not dispute the facts it presents.  Think about why.
 
-You don't know me and don't have any idea if I would listen to your arguments.  Apart from being insulting for no reason, you are also wrong.
 
-I read your link which, I gather, is supposed to show that this action is somehow anti-Black.  Maybe you missed the following part of Bainbridge's article:
When you look at the data, its true that minorities are slightly over-represented in the sub-prime mortgage market. Yet, whites (non-minorities) received 72.5% of subprime mortgages. Blacks got 16.2% of subprime mortgages, which isnt all that different from the 12.4% of the general population that blacks comprise. The Hispanics about whom Malkin is so hysterical got only 6.2% of subprime mortgages, significantly less than their 14.8% of the general population.
Translation: It is not a racial issue at all -- which blows apart the central theme of your insulting commentary.
 
-The term "non veto-proof congress" indicates ignorance on your part.  To override a Presidential veto requires at least two-thirds of the house and then two-thirds of the senate.  The last time a President had more than a two-thirds majority in both houses was the 89th congress (1965-1967).  Since then, 33 Presidential vetoes have been overridden.  Every one of those overrides inherently included members of the President's party.
 
-By the way the Republican-controlled house existed from 2001 to 2007, when Democrats became the majority.  Republicans did not control congress for even one day of the year 2000.
 
-You're wrong about Israel too.  President Bush is something of a hero there.  A gallup poll taken this summer showed 66% of Israelis satisfied with the Bush presidency (more than double the USA).  You can read all about it by clicking here.  And if you do, please note that the web site and the author are both anti-Bush.  YOU think about it.
 
-"Marxist Negro Muslim" is your terminology, not mine.  Do you use it often?  Or are you using it to sarcastically imply that this is my kind of language?  If so, a) it might be worth remembering that you don't know a thing about me other than that I'm voting for McCain and b) for your information, I have never used any of those terms even once in describing Mr. Obama nor would I.  Maybe a bit of introspection is in order here.
 
-And you're calling me a hater?  Based on what?  Your ad hominem fantasies?  Let me ask you a question:  If Barack Obama were White, do you think, as a nondescript state legislator and then a first-term senator with no particular accomplishments, he could possibly have overtaken Hillary Clinton and won this nomination? 
 
Yes, there is racism in this presidential election cycle -- and if you answer that question honestly you'll see where an awful lot of it is coming from.
Using racist language, assuming you know what you don't, not knowing what you're talking about regarding congress, being personally insulting without any basis whatsoever and generally being as offensive as you can is not a very good mix.  I suggest you reflect on that.
 
 
Ken Berwitz

steve schneider nicely done. steve (09/29/08)


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