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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for September 30th, 2008

Biden’s “I Was Shot At” Lie

Posted by iusbvision on September 30, 2008

And now he is packpeddling…

When Hillary Clinton told a tall tale about “landing under sniper fire” in Bosnia, she was accused of “inflating her war experience” by rival Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign. 

But the campaign has been silent about Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, telling his own questionable story about being “shot at” in Iraq. 

“Let’s start telling the truth,” Biden said during a presidential primary debate sponsored by YouTube last year. “Number one, you take all the troops out – you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and shot at. You better make sure you have protection for them, or let them die.” 

But when questioned about the episode afterward by the Hill newspaper, Biden backpedaled from his claim of being “shot at” and instead allowed: “I was near where a shot landed.”

Now Hillary was jumped all over for this, and Palin gets every word she says mega scrutinized while Biden makes 2-3 major gaffes a week and it gets little coverage.  Hat tip Dr. Lott

Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Journalism Is Dead, Palin Truth Squad | Leave a Comment »

Wind Power vs. Storm

Posted by iusbvision on September 30, 2008

Hat tip Dr. Lott

Posted in Other Links | Leave a Comment »

Moonbat Threatens Life of President on C-Span

Posted by iusbvision on September 30, 2008

Ok place your bets. Is this person a journalist or an ivy league liberal arts professor?

Hat Tip Michelle Malkin

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Second District Congressional Candidates Speak on the Bailout

Posted by iusbvision on September 30, 2008

Statement by Luke Puckett

“The $700 billion taxpayer sponsored bailout bill that was voted on this afternoon did not provide the right solution to our economic needs. Congress must act quickly to put in place solutions that address the grave nature of the current economic problem. This must be done without imposing the cost of such a solution on the taxpayer or future generations of Americans. We cannot do the wrong thing and we cannot do nothing, we must do the right thing.

“The right approach to this challenge is one that maximizes freedom and personal choice while bringing stability to the marketplace. In order to stimulate the economy and generate a much needed sense of certainty, we need to increase the cap on FDIC insurance. We must also develop a plan based on the FDIC model that allows banks and investment companies to purchase insurance for their most vulnerable mortgage-backed securities. This solution would require accountability and restore trust and confidence at a time when both of those commodities are much needed.

“I call on Congress to act in a bipartisan and responsible manner.”–Luke Puckett, Republican Candidate for Congress, IN/02

Statement by Joe Donnelly

“When there are serious people discussing the possibility of another economic depression, it is time to act. The rescue plan was not perfect, but it was necessary. And while no one took any pleasure in voting for it, the alternative — doing nothing — is potentially disastrous and therefore unacceptable.” — Rep. Joe Donnelly, Democrat, IN/02

Our Take: As we have said that bill that was shot down by the House was too flawed. 97 Democrats and 133 Republicans said no. While some of that was purely political, some of it expressed the same concern the American people have; the bill wasn’t good enough. Luke’s FDIC and insurance idea is a good one and I like how he adds that the solution would require accountability. That is nice-nice talk for using REAL banking regulators in the mortgage industry. However, low interest loans or some other vehicle is needed to kick SOME solvency into the market. These tools with a number less than half the $700 billion number should be more than adequte in my view…. again as long as REAL bank regulators under Treasury or the Fed take over regulation enforcement.

Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton | Leave a Comment »

It’s More Than Politics, It’s a Bad Bill.

Posted by iusbvision on September 30, 2008

The Blame Game You Hear on TV is BS – Here is Why So Many Voted NO on the Bailout.

It was a bad bill, but first let’s talk a little politics.

I have watched TV from my daughters hospital room just amazed at the BS you get from the elite media. The simple fact is that the vast majority of talking head “experts” that you see on TV have no idea what they are talking about. I wished I could have blogged right away about what I was seeing, I have a couple of hours at a computer so I thought I would make a few quick posts.

I was watching the roll call of the bailout vote and I saw that 97 Democrats had voted no as well as 133 Republicans. I wondered why so many in both caucuses bailed. I figured that in that 97 defections there must have been major Democrats bailing from the House banking committee and several committee chairs to give more Republicans the political will to vote no. When the Republicans saw that committee chairs that Speaker Pelosi can remove from those chairmanships and others who are close to Pelosi were voting against the bill, they realized that Pelosi was letting them do it.

Think about it. Republicans watch Pelosi come out to make this horrible partisan speech below that is filled with easily disproved nonsense, and then many of Pelosi’s closest allies are voting no. These are people that if Pelosi leaned on would change their vote. If this bill resulted in bad news down the road, Pelosi’s vulnerable yet powerful committee chairs in the House were allowed to vote no so they could say they were not to blame.

We now know from Karl Rove that many GOP members of Congress realized this while on the floor. The Democrats were going to try and eek this vote by and than blame Republicans for it’s results while key Democrats close to Pelosi voted no; yet all you heard in the press was that Republicans were offended by Pelosi’s remarks so they voted no as if they were a bunch of cry babies. Barney Frank who made these allegations  because he knows that most people in the press were ignorant of the facts on the floor as they unfolded. The Democratic leadership was counting on the ignorance of those in the media and in the public to get away with a political play.

Here is Karl Roves’ Statement

Here are the Democrats of the House Banking Committee that voted no and this was their baby with Sec. Paulson.  

Rep. Brad Sherman, CA
Rep. William Lacy Clay, MO
Rep. Joe Baca, CA
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, MA
Rep. David Scott, GA
Rep. Al Green, TX
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, MO
Rep. Lincoln Davis, TN
Rep. Paul W. Hodes, NH
Rep. Andre Carson, IN
Rep. Don Cazayoux, LA
Rep. Travis Childers, MS

Follow this link for a list of the Democrat Committee and Sub-Committee Chairs who voted no. Pelosi could have easily leaned on them to vote yes. The roll call for the vote is HERE.

While these were peripheral reasons why the bill went down, the primary reason is that it is just not a very good bill. It provides temporary solutions that could make matters even worse down the road. 

It does not fix the oversight issues that were a primary catalyst in the first place, it did not update accounting rules to make mortgage securities easier to rate. The banks would get these funds, but have no obligation to continue extending credit to moderate risk – credit worthy people, smaller banks, farms and companies. If the object is to get some solvency into these banks in trouble because of the mortgage crisis, shouldn’t we demand that they still behave as responsible banks instead of just sitting on a huge wad of taxpayer cash to only act as a soft and fluffy cash barrier to their own risk? The object of the bill is to get banks in the position to be responsible lenders again so the economy doesn’t shut down; this bill doesn’t do that. There is also no ethics reform that prevents the kind of influence peddling that contributed to this mess in the first place.

This video makes some of these points. Rep. McCotter:

Hat Tip and Johnny Dollar Blog

UPDATE: So I popped on famed author and economist Dr. John Lott’s website today and I am thrilled to see that he took a similar take as we did (look at Dr. Lott’s other post HERE as well).

Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Other Links, Palin Truth Squad | 1 Comment »

Obama Sued Citibank Under CRA to Force it to Make Bad Loans – UPDATED

Posted by iusbvision on September 30, 2008

NEW UPDATE 2-19-2010Congressional  Report says that ACORN/SEIU a criminal conspiracy that played a roll in the mortgage collapse (just as we have said from minute one) – LINK.

UPDATE 9-22-2009: Here we go again, introducing the Community Reinvestment Modernization Act.

[Please see the special editors note at the bottom of this post – Editor]

UPDATE 10-12-2008: posts a video From April 3, 1998 of Clinton’s HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo telling how they forced banks to make high risk affirmative action loans. See Update VIII towards the bottom of this post.


“I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.” — Barack Obama, Speech to ACORN, November 2007


Do you remember how we told you that the Democrats and groups associated with them leaned on banks and even sued to get them to make bad loans by abusing the Community Reinvestment Act (see HERE and HERE)? The abuse of this act by ACORN and officials like Janet Reno was a factor in causing the economic crisis. The harassment suits filed under this act were used to get banks to lower credit standards and hand out high risk loans. We have dug up the lawsuit below while researching Obama’s legal career. It is a typical example of an ACORN harassment lawsuit.

In these lawsuits, ACORN makes a bogus claim of Redlining (denying poor people loans because of their ethnic heritage). They protest and get the local media to raise a big stink. This stink means that the bank faces thousands of people closing their accounts and get local politicians to lobby to stop the bank from doing some future business, expansions and mergers. If the bank goes to court, they will win, but the damage is already done because who is going to launch a big campaign to get the bank’s reputation back?

It is important to understand the nature of these lawsuits and what their purpose is. ACORN filed, or threatened to file, tons of these lawsuits and ALL CRA suits allege racism (usually the press involved and such with the threat of the CRA lawsuit is enough to get the bank to give in and put them in a catch 22, they also had a willing Janet Reno Justice Department to work with – see below for more on Reno). As we have said in our series or articles analyzing every aspect of this story (links at the very bottom of this post), the series of ACORN harassment lawsuits and intimidation against banks to lower credit standards was not the sole reason for the mortgage crisis, it was one important layer of many that brought us to the mortgage crisis and the largest financial scandal in the history of the world.

Case Name
Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Docket / Court 94 C 4094 ( N.D. Ill. ) FH-IL-0011
State/Territory Illinois

Case Summary
Plaintiffs filed their class action lawsuit on July 6, 1994, alleging that Citibank had engaged in redlining practices in the Chicago metropolitan area in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. 1691; the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601-3619; the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; and 42 U.S.C. 1981, 1982. Plaintiffs alleged that the Defendant-bank rejected loan applications of minority applicants while approving loan applications filed by white applicants with similar financial characteristics and credit histories. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief, actual damages, and punitive damages.

U.S. District Court Judge Ruben Castillo certified the Plaintiffs’ suit as a class action on June 30, 1995. Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank, 162 F.R.D. 322 (N.D. Ill. 1995). Also on June 30, Judge Castillo granted Plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery of a sample of Defendant-bank’s loan application files. Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank, 162 F.R.D. 338 (N.D. Ill. 1995).

The parties voluntarily dismissed the case on May 12, 1998, pursuant to a settlement agreement.
Plaintiff’s Lawyers Alexis, Hilary I. (Illinois)
FH-IL-0011-7500 | FH-IL-0011-7501 | FH-IL-0011-9000
Childers, Michael Allen (Illinois)
FH-IL-0011-7500 | FH-IL-0011-7501 | FH-IL-0011-9000
Clayton, Fay (Illinois)
FH-IL-0011-7500 | FH-IL-0011-7501 | FH-IL-0011-9000
Cummings, Jeffrey Irvine (Illinois)
FH-IL-0011-7500 | FH-IL-0011-7501 | FH-IL-0011-9000
Love, Sara Norris (Virginia)
Miner, Judson Hirsch (Illinois)
FH-IL-0011-7500 | FH-IL-0011-9000
Obama, Barack H. (Illinois)
FH-IL-0011-7500 | FH-IL-0011-7501 | FH-IL-0011-9000
Wickert, John Henry (Illinois)

[Editor’s Note – Like so many of these cases, when faced with the bad publicity, the awareness of how the local media would sensationalize such a story, the awareness of ACORN’s close ties with the federal government and the Democratic Leadership, Citi chose to settle the case. All of the details are not known but according to court documents in our possession part of the settlement included $950,000 in attorneys fees.]

UPDATE: comments on other CRA lawsuits HERE.

New York Post Article HERE:

The seeds of today’s financial meltdown lie in the Community 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.

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 morefunding Talbott’s way – ostensibly for education projects but surely supportive of ACORN’s overall efforts.

UPDATE II: Fox News gets on the story

UPDATE III: CNS News Analysis

Under the Clinton administration, federal regulators began using the act to combat “red-lining,” a practice by which banks loaned money to some communities but not to others, based on economic status. “No loan is exempt, no bank is immune,” warned then-Attorney General Janet Reno. “For those who thumb their nose at us, I promise vigorous enforcement.”

The Clinton-Reno threat of “vigorous enforcement” pushed banks to make the now infamous loans that many blame for the current meltdown, Richman said. “Banks, in order to not get in trouble with the regulators, had to make loans to people who shouldn’t have been getting mortgage loans.”

This threat combined with the government backing of Fannie and Freddie set the stage for the current uncertainty, because the “banks could just sell the loans off to Fannie or Freddie,” who could buy them with little regard for negative financial outcomes, Richman said.

UPDATE IV:It’s about time …

Update VI: Investors business daily reports more on Obama’s work with ACORN

As the New York Times reports, “Aides to Mr. Obama said he had not directly reached out to try to sway any House Democrats who opposed the measure.” Is the reason the fact that the slush fund for ACORN in the original bill, siphoning off 20% of any future profits for such activist groups, was trimmed from the tree?

Obama, who once represented ACORN in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois, was hired by the group to train its community organizers and staff in the methods and tactics of the late Saul Alinsky. ACORN would stage in-your-face protests in bank lobbies, drive-through lanes and even at bank managers’ homes to get them to issue risky loans in the inner city or face charges of racism.

In the early 1990s, reports Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow at the Ethics and Policy Center, Obama was personally recruited by Chicago’s ACORN to run training sessions in “direct action.” That’s the euphemism for the techniques used under the cover of the federal Community Reinvestment Act to intimidate financial institutions into giving what have been called “Ninja” loans — no income, no job, no assets — to people who couldn’t afford them.

CRA was designed to increase minority homeownership. Whenever a bank wanted to grow or expand, ACORN would file complaints that it was not sufficiently sensitive to the needs of minorities in providing home loans. Agitators would then be unleashed.

Chicago’s ACORN used Alinsky’s tactics against institutions such as Bell Federal Savings and Loan and Avondale Federal Savings. In September 1992, the Chicago Tribune described the group’s agenda as “affirmative action lending.”

Obama also helped ACORN get funding. When he served on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago with Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, the Woods Fund frequently gave ACORN grants to fund its activist agenda.

In 1995, Kurtz reports, Obama chaired the committee that increased funding of ACORN and other community organizers. The committee report boasted that the fund’s “non-ideological” image “enabled the Trustees to make grants to organizations that use confrontational tactics against the business and governmental ‘establishments’ without undue risk of being accused of partisanship.”

The CRA empowered regulators to punish banks that failed to “meet the credit needs” of “low-income, minority and distressed neighborhoods.” It gave groups such as ACORN a license and a means to intimidate banks, claiming they were “redlining” poor and minority neighborhoods. ACORN employed its tactics in 1991 by taking over the House Banking Committee room for two days to protest efforts to scale back the CRA.

As a former White House staff economist writes in the American Thinker, Obama represented ACORN in a 1994 suit against redlining.  ACORN was also a driving force behind a 1995 regulatory revision pushed through by the Clinton administration that greatly expanded the CRA and helped spawn the current financial crisis.

Obama was the attorney representing ACORN in this effort. Last November, he told the group, “I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career.” Indeed he has. Obama was and is fully aware of what ACORN was doing with the money and expertise he provided. The voters should be aware on Nov. 4 of the roles of both in creating the current crisis.

UPDATE VII: Some on the left are saying that has debunked this story, this is not so. Snopes is talking about another story that makes a different claim about this same lawsuit. It does not dispute that this lawsuit was one of a series of lawsuits that were filed by ACORN using “redlining and racism” allegations to lower credit standards. It does not dispute that all of the ACORN CRA lawsuits claimed redlining and racism. It does not dispute that at other times ACORN used intimidation tactics against bank managers to try to make them give high risk loans. ACORN’s activities have been widely reported by many news outfits in the last few days.  We also never claimed that Obama was the main lawyer in the suit, just a part of the “team” that used these tactics to rip banks off. We are glad that we were one of the first to get this story right.

[Editor’s Note – Why would anyone be surprised that a far left group would accuse anyone of racism when not given what they want? This is their favorite tactic. “Oppose ObamaCare your racist” (SIC), oppose nationalization of banks, your racist, oppose 20 new Czar positions that don’t have enough transparency and accountability, your racist, catch Obama in a little white lie, your racist and the list goes on and on.]

UPDATE VIII: (10-12-2008) posts a video From April 3, 1998 of Clinton’s HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo telling how they forced banks to make high risk affirmative action loans. A CNN Story HERE.

CUOMO: To take a greater risk on these mortgages, yes. To give families mortgages that they would not have given otherwise, yes.

Q: [unintellible] … that they would not have given the loans at all?

CUOMO: They would not have qualified but for this affirmative action on the part of the bank, yes.

Q: Are minorities represented in that low and moderate income group?

CUOMO: It is by income, and is it also by minorities? Yes.

CUOMO: With the 2.1 billion, lending that amount in mortgages — which will be a higher risk, and I’m sure there will be a higher default rate on those mortgages than on the rest of the portfolio

Our other posts that explain every facet of the mortgage crash scandal are in detail HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. – Editor

Special Editor’s Note:

This post has become one of the most discussed articles on the internet, literally linked to by thousands of blogs and discussion forums. After seeing time and time again how this article is used and misused by partisans on both sides, I finally decided to add this note to help give you all a little perspective.

First of all, neither my article, nor most of the other articles I have seen blame the CRA exclusively for the mortgage crisis. The steps that lead to the meltdown are multi-layered and the CRA and its abuse by the Clinton Administration and ACORN was merely a layer of the problem.

There is no question that Janet Reno and Andrew Cuomo and ACORN sought and did use the CRA to scare banks into loosening credit standards to benefit their own constituencies. Cuomo, ACORN and Reno are all on the record doing/saying so.

When Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae started buying any mortgage no matter how bad or risky to sell as mortgage securities, enforcement of the CRA was no longer necessary because banks were given every incentive and were pressured by the House and Senate Banking Committee (mostly by Dems on the committee to be fair)to just give the loans and the banks could sell them to Fannie/Freddie taking the risk away from the bank.

I see many of the hundreds of message boards and blogs that link to my post, but few arguing one way or another are really reading the arguments and the evidence and addressing them. I wrote a dozen articles on this story and as I indicated there were many layers including the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation and abuse by Fannie/Freddie and the abuse/neglect by Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. If you want to get a better grasp on the entire story, read the articles linked above at the bottom of the post as each explains another layer/facet of the problem.

I would like to address some of the sources you guys are quoting because most of them, on the substance are making misleading/ridiculous claims.

The 100K challenge “source” was pretty amusing. He says he will debate anyone that CRA was not a prima cause of the crisis, but the narrative that this post and some of the others give was that since it wasn’t a primary cause, that it was of no cause at all and that is indeed a false narrative. Abuse of the CRA was an important layer, but only one layer of many. The post then goes to say that it wasn’t a major factor, well what is major to one person is not major to another.

These people making these claims would not be so foolish to argue this from the other angle; eg. to make the case that CRA and its later abuse, in no way loosened up credit to those who were high risk and/or had no business trying to obtain such a large loan.

I saw the “source” that was a post on the Businessweek Blog that said CRA wasn’t to blame, and then went on to say that essentially that Freddie/Fannie couldn’t be blamed either, which is preposterous. It was those Mortgage Securities issued by Fannie/Freddie that spread like a toxic poison in the investment markets and everyone knows it.

Many of the other “sources” quoted were merely appeals to authority proclaiming themselves correct and experts and then tell you their view with nothing verifiable for people like you and me to look up.I hope that this post helped to add a little perspective to your discussion.

The “source” that was from the Federal Reserve Bank mentioned in the Wall Street Journal was greeted with skepticism by the WSJ and Investors Business daily. Besides a government report declaring a big government regulation and its abusive enforcement innocent should not surprise anyone.

As far as how most of you have approached this argument, you throw up all these links, but few of you really address the arguments and specific points that are in the links themselves.

Also I encourage you all to avoid emotional attachments to candidates. Have any of you known a bratty kid who is a little terror, whose parents act as if their kid can do no wrong? They act that way because they can’t see passed their own emotional attachments and that is how many of you are behaving.

Here is a simple truth, economic policy in the first Bush term and the second were profoundly different and policy wise the Obama policies are very much like Bush second term policies just on steroids. It also didn’t help that Bush’s second term Treasury Sec. Mr. Paulsen and Obama’s Treasury Sec. Mr. Geithner are two of the very worst Treasury heads ever.

Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Mortgage Crisis, Palin Truth Squad | 117 Comments »