Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Obama: Fannie Mae's Candidate

In case you haven't heard, Barack Obama took lots - a hell of a lot - of money from Fannie Mae. He's dirty up to his pencil neck, Barack is, and so are his advisors. And they're lying through their teeth about it. Ponders blogger Rob: I wonder how seriously we can take Barack Obama on this issue when he’s taking advice from a man who is at the very heart of what went wrong at Fannie Mae? Rob gives us more in his post "Obama Adviser And Former Fannie Mae CEO Was Warned Of Problems." Good question. By the way, just what are the Democrats doing to clean this mess up? "Biden and Dodd play hooky while DC burns" is the headline at The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY). Columnist Douglas Turner notes that: Thanks in large part to Dodd, the government has been blind-sided by the troubles of two huge g overnment-sponsored entities, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These are backstops for bankers who profited handsomely on mortgages they sold to borrowers who could not pay them back. Estimates of the cost to taxpayers of the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bailouts range from zero to $300 billion. Little is said about two former high-ranking Clinton administration officials, Franklin D. Raines and Jamie Gorelick, who got paid $52 million and $26 million, respectively, at Fannie Mae while the agency cooked its books. So, while Freddie and Fannie were rotting from the inside, the Democrat worms that ran the place were eating as much of the good parts of the apples as they could. But what about the Republicans? David Frum notes that "No national politician has been more out front than John McCain in warning of the enormous danger posed by government backing of home mortgages." Frum goes on to quote a stunning article in the Wall Street Journal by John McKinnon: In 2005, [Sen. John McCain] joined a small group of Republican Senators to cosponsor the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act, the strongest legislation introduced up to that time to control Fannie and Freddie. In a statement, he noted that “For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market…If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie and Freddie poseto the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole. MORE from Frum at National Review Online... The PoliGazette, Netherlands flat out calls Obama a liar. Editor in Chief Michael van der Galien writes on Sept. 17: For days now Barack Obama told voters he was the one who predicted the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and who was working in the Senate to try to get lawmakers to agree to a plan that would let the federal government regulate the activities of both investment giants. Obama, the narrative sold by the Obama campaign goes, stood at the forefront, he was one of the leaders, on bills that would force the companies and others like it to behave responsible. There’s just one problem with Obama’s story; it’s fiction. Never did the Democratic nominee lead on this issue, or something related to it. Never did he attempt to hold these companies responsible and to regulate them. Well, no, Obama was too busy collecting campaign funds from them, and too busy running for president to attend to be bothered with his duties as a US Senator. Indeed, van der Galien notes that the McCain campaign has started shouting this out: McCain’s line of attack is clear and logical; he’s making clear to voters that Obama is trying to create a record by simply lying about his past words and actions. The man who has no record at all, and who made an expertise out of skipping votes on even remotely important issues, now claims to be a man of hope and change, willing and able to take on Washington and to reform it. van der Galien closes with a sharp barb to Obama: Two whole years ago, when Obama was doing business with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae executives and lobbyists, McCain was calling on Congress to regulate them. He may be 72 years old, and he may have been a senator for many more years than Obama, but the ‘maverick’ is the one truly willing to take on the ‘establishment.’ Yup. Read all of van der Galien's column, "Who’s The Real Reformer Now?" Then jump over to Marathon Pundit for "Obama's mortgage money machine."