Archive for October 8th, 2008

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Defending J-Mac’s Socialism (350 billion dollar mortgage buyout)

October 8, 2008

Last night, I was in a blogger chat with other folks and when I heard that J-Mac proposed 350 billion in additional funds for a bailout, I,  like many of our brethern lost my head and called him a socialist.  Anyway, as Hannity says, “let not your heart be troubled”:

Marc Ambinder in the Atlantic notes how the 300 billion or so is already incorporated into the bill that was passed last week. J-Mac is not asking for additional funds:

On a conference call with reporters, McCain policy chief Douglas Holtz-Eakin spelled out how McCain would pay for his plan for the government to buy troubled mortgages and replace when with more favorable fixed-rate mortgages at minimal direct cost to the homeowners. The government could use some of the $700 billion authorized for the bailout and tap other accounts, although the campaign estimates that, owing to negative equity — the government can’t magically turn bad mortgages into good ones without taking a hit — would be $300 billion.  The McCain team hopes that by buying mortgages directly, the government wouldn’t have to buy as many distressed assets from big banks, thus reducing the net cost. McCain claims this idea as his own, although the bailout/rescue bill already gives the government the authority to deal directly with homeowners, and Obama has suggested that the government do the same — although McCain’s certainly being more aggressive here.

Second, let’s look at the Hope for Homegrowers plan in crap sandwich 2.0:

HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) is a program designed to assist borrowers at risk of default or foreclosure in refinancing to an affordable 30-year fixed rate FHA loan. The program is effective October 1, 2008 and will conclude on September 30, 2011. …

The loan amount may not exceed a nationwide maximum of $550,440.

The new mortgage will be no more than 90% of the new appraised value including any financed UFMIP with the lender essentially writing down the current mortgage to that amount.

Upfront MIP is 3% and the monthly MIP is 1.5%

The holders of existing mortgage liens must waive all prepayment penalties and late payment fees.

The existing first mortgage must accept the proceeds of the H4H loan as full settlement of all outstanding indebtedness.

Existing subordinate lenders must release their outstanding mortgage liens.

So, the mechanism for what John McCain said last night exists. It is still wrong that we are buying out bad mortgages, but at least he isn’t adding to it

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Obama MUST Release His Medical Records. Admits Smoking

October 8, 2008

ABC reports that he has begun smoking again:

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama admits he’s bummed cigarettes a couple times on the campaign trail since publicly kicking his habit at the launch of his presidential run.

“I figure, seeing as I’m running for president, I need to cut myself a little slack,” he told Men’s Health in an interview for their November issue.

Obama has not yet released his medical records and we have to wonder what he is hiding. The man has smoked persistently for many years and smoking is dangerous.

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ACORN-apalooza – Voter Fraud a-plenty!

October 8, 2008

Lots and lots and lots of ACORN stuff today. 

First, let’s visit Wisconsin, where in 2004, ACORN slashed tires intended to drive voters to the polls. From the Journal-sentinel

Milwaukee County prosecutors Tuesday charged a convicted felon with illegally registering himself and others to vote between his conviction and his sentencing.

The complaint accuses Adam Mucklin, 22, of registering to vote in June, after he was convicted of battery in April, and after a judge told him he couldn’t vote as a convicted felon. Later in June, Mucklin signed up to work as a paid voter registrar for the Community Voters Project, something else he couldn’t do as a convicted felon, the complaint says.

A recent opinion from the staff of the state Government Accountability Board says no one convicted of a felony can ever serve as a registrar, a stricter standard than the previous interpretation that registrars only had to be eligible to vote.

[…]

Mucklin was among 49 voter registration workers who were referred to the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office by the Milwaukee Election Commission on suspicion of election fraud. He is the second to be charged.

———

Virtually all the workers under scrutiny were employed by either the voters project or by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Those groups were among several politically liberal organizations that launched massive voter registration drives in Milwaukee in advance of the Nov. 4 election.

Back to Ohio, they can’t be totally fraud free, who would expect that?

Voter-registration group cites lack of resources

A national voter-registration group admitted to Cuyahoga County election officials Tuesday that it cannot eliminate fraud from its operation.

The group blamed inefficiency and lack of resources for problems such as being unable to spot duplicate voter-registration cards or cards that may have been filled out by workers to make quotas.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has turned in at least 65,000 cards to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in the last year. The board has investigated potentially fraudulent cards since August.

Connecticut!

HARTFORD — The State Elections Enforcement Commission has opened an investigation into allegations that a community activist organization submitted at least 10 false voter-registration cards in Bridgeport.

One of the phony registrations was for a 7-year-old girl in the Marina Village housing complex, whose age was listed as 27 on the voter card.

Another registration came from a man who later said he couldn’t have completed the voter card purported to be his because he was in jail on the date of the document.

Day’s not ove – let’s see what else comes down the pipeline

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The Change We Need

October 8, 2008

Vice President John McCain?

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Camille Paglia on Sarah and Feminism

October 8, 2008

The great Camille:

Yes, both Todd and Sarah Palin, whom most people in the U.S. and abroad had never even heard of until six weeks ago, have emerged as powerful new symbols of a revived contemporary feminism. That the macho Todd, with his champion athleticism and working-class cred, can so amiably cradle babies and care for children is a huge step forward in American sexual symbolism.

Although nothing will sway my vote for Obama, I continue to enjoy Sarah Palin’s performance on the national stage. During her vice-presidential debate last week with Joe Biden (whose conspiratorial smiles with moderator Gwen Ifill were outrageous and condescending toward his opponent), I laughed heartily at Palin’s digs and slams and marveled at the way she slowly took over the entire event. I was sorry when it ended! But Biden wasn’t — judging by his Gore-like sighs and his slow sinking like a punctured blimp. Of course Biden won on points, but TV (a visual medium) never cares about that.

The mountain of rubbish poured out about Palin over the past month would rival Everest. What a disgrace for our jabbering army of liberal journalists and commentators, too many of whom behaved like snippy jackasses. The bourgeois conventionalism and rank snobbery of these alleged humanitarians stank up the place. As for Palin’s brutally edited interviews with Charlie Gibson and that viper, Katie Couric, don’t we all know that the best bits ended up on the cutting-room floor? Something has gone seriously wrong with Democratic ideology, which seems to have become a candied set of holier-than-thou bromides attached like tutti-frutti to a quivering green Jell-O mold of adolescent sentimentality.

And where is all that lurid sexual fantasy coming from? When I watch Sarah Palin, I don’t think sex — I think Amazon warrior! I admire her competitive spirit and her exuberant vitality, which borders on the supernormal. The question that keeps popping up for me is whether Palin, who was born in Idaho, could possibly be part Native American (as we know her husband is), which sometimes seems suggested by her strong facial contours. I have felt that same extraordinary energy and hyper-alertness billowing out from other women with Native American ancestry — including two overpowering celebrity icons with whom I have worked.

One of the most idiotic allegations batting around out there among urban media insiders is that Palin is “dumb.” Are they kidding? What level of stupidity is now par for the course in those musty circles? (The value of Ivy League degrees, like sub-prime mortgages, has certainly been plummeting. As a Yale Ph.D., I have a perfect right to my scorn.) People who can’t see how smart Palin is are trapped in their own narrow parochialism — the tedious, hackneyed forms of their upper-middle-class syntax and vocabulary.

[…]

Many others listening to Sarah Palin at her debate went into conniptions about what they assailed as her incoherence or incompetence. But I was never in doubt about what she intended at any given moment. On the contrary, I was admiring not only her always shapely and syncopated syllables but the innate structures of her discourse — which did seem to fly by in fragments at times but are plainly ready to be filled with deeper policy knowledge, as she gains it (hopefully over the next eight years of the Obama presidencies). This is a tremendously talented politician whose moment has not yet come. That she holds views completely opposed to mine is irrelevant.

Even if she disappears from the scene forever after a McCain defeat, Palin will still have made an enormous and lasting contribution to feminism. As I said in my last column, Palin has made the biggest step forward in reshaping the persona of female authority since Madonna danced her dominatrix way through the shattered puritan barricades of the feminist establishment. In 1990, in a highly controversial New York Times op-ed that attacked old-guard feminist ideology, I declared that “Madonna is the future of feminism” — a prophecy that was ridiculed at the time but that turned out to be quite true. Madonna put pro-sex feminism on the international map.

But it is now 18 years later — the span of an entire generation. The instabilities and diminishments for young women raised in an increasingly shallow media environment have become all too obvious. I had grown up in a vibrant pop culture with glorious women stars of voluptuous sensuality — above all Elizabeth Taylor, sewn into that silky white slip as the vixen Manhattan call girl of “Butterfield 8.” In college, I feasted on foreign films starring sexual sophisticates like Jeanne Moreau, Anouk Aimée and Catherine Deneuve. Sex today, however, has become brittle and superficial. Except for the occasional diverting flash of Lindsay Lohan’s borrowed bosom, I see nothing whatever that is worth a second glance. Pro-sex feminism has worked itself out and, like all movements, has degenerated into clichés. And even Madonna, with her skeletal megalomania, looks like a refugee from a horror movie.

The next phase of feminism must circle back and reappropriate the ancient persona of the mother — without losing career ambition or power of assertion. Betty Friedan, who had first attacked the cult of postwar domesticity, had long warned second-wave feminists such as Gloria Steinem about the damaging exclusion of homemakers from their value system. The animus of liberal feminists toward religion must also end (I am speaking as an atheist). Feminism must reexamine all of its assumptions, including its death grip on abortion, if it wishes to survive.

The hysterical emotionalism and eruptions of amoral malice at the arrival of Sarah Palin exposed the weaknesses and limitations of current feminism. But I am convinced that Palin’s bracing mix of male and female voices, as well as her grounding in frontier grit and audacity, will prove to be a galvanizing influence on aspiring Democratic women politicians too, from the municipal level on up. Palin has shown a brand-new way of defining female ambition — without losing femininity, spontaneity or humor. She’s no pre-programmed wonk of the backstage Hillary Clinton school; she’s pugnacious and self-created, the product of no educational or political elite — which is why her outsider style has been so hard for media lemmings to comprehend. And by the way, I think Tina Fey’s witty impersonations of Palin have been fabulous. But while Fey has nailed Palin’s cadences and charm, she can’t capture the energy, which is a force of nature.

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Obama Claims He Never Worked For ACORN

October 8, 2008

Thanks to Sweetness and Light for finding this

On Obama’s Fight the Smears rapid respponse website, it notes:

Barack Obama Never Organized with ACORN

Discredited Republican voter-suppression guru Ken Blackwell is attacking Barack Obama with naked lies about his supposed connection to ACORN.

• Fact: Barack was never an ACORN community organizer.
• Fact: Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.
• Fact: ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992.

In his capacity as an attorney, Barack represented ACORN in a successful lawsuit alongside the U.S. Department of Justice against the state of Illinois to force state compliance with a federal voting access law. For his work helping enforce the law, called “Motor Voter,” Barack received the IVI-IPO Legal Eagle Award in 1995…

However…

What Makes Obama Run?

Lawyer, teacher, philanthropist, and author Barack Obama doesn’t need another career. But he’s entering politics to get back to his true passion–community organization.

By Hank De Zutter
December 8, 1995

… Another strong supporter of Obama’s work–as an organizer, as a lawyer, and now as a candidate–is Madeline Talbott, lead organizer of the feisty ACORN community organization, a group that’s a thorn in the side of most elected officials. “I can’t repeat what most ACORN members think and say about politicians. But Barack has proven himself among our members. He is committed to organizing, to building a democracy. Above all else, he is a good listener, and we accept and respect him as a kindred spirit, a fellow organizer.”

Obama continues his organizing work largely through classes for future leaders identified by ACORN and the Centers for New Horizons on the south side. Conducting a session in a New Horizons classroom, Obama, tall and thin, looks very much like an Ivy League graduate student. Dressed casually prep, his tie loosened and his top shirt button unfastened, he leads eight black women from the Grand Boulevard community through a discussion of “what folks should know” about who in Chicago has power and why they have it. It’s one of his favorite topics, and the class bubbles with suggestions about how “they” got to be high and mighty…

That’s cute, in addition:

Project Vote is the voter-mobilization arm of ACORN. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose professed purpose is to carry out “non-partisan” voter registration drives; to counsel voters on their rights; and to litigate on behalf of voting rights — focusing on the rights of the poor and the “disenfranchised.” …

and

Obama started building the base years before. For instance, ACORN noticed him when he was organizing on the far south side of the city with the Developing Communities Project. He was a very good organizer. When he returned from law school, we asked him to help us with a lawsuit to challenge the state of Illinois’ refusal to abide by the National Voting Rights Act, also known as motor voter. Allied only with the state of Mississippi, Illinois had been refusing to allow mass-based voter registration according to the new law. Obama took the case, known as ACORN vs. Edgar (the name of the Republican governor at the time) and we won. Obama then went on to run a voter registration project with Project VOTE in 1992 that made it possible for Carol Moseley Braun to win the Senate that year. Project VOTE delivered 50,000 newly registered voters in that campaign (ACORN delivered about 5000 of them).

ACORN is rearin its ugly head across the country. I didn’t think this would play out, but it looks like it might

Michelle also has an article about the thug thizzle and ACORN fraud across America:

In addition to the Las Vegas raid, fraud allegations keep piling up:

— Lake County, Ind., election officials this month rejected a large portion of the 5,000 registration forms ACORN turned in after conducting registration drives in the area all summer. Some vote canvassers had pulled names and addresses from telephone books and forged signatures. According to local reports, “large numbers of voter registration forms bore signatures all in the same apparent handwriting style” and “apparently the organization’s canvassers broke rules to meet ACORN-set voter registration quotas to get paid.” The fake registrants included dead people and underage kids.

On a conference call yesterday, GOP officials noted that up to 11,000 voter applications were no good — tying up election officials and jeopardizing the voting rights of untold victims whose identities may have been stolen.

– Last month, Milwaukee, Wis., officials discovered at least seven felons employed as voter registration workers for ACORN and another affiliated group. They also uncovered a raft of problematic voter registration cards. The state GOP accused ACORN of attempting to enroll dead, imprisoned or imaginary people to voter rolls. Fraud has plagued ACORN’s Milwaukee chapter since the last election cycle.

– In Florida, in Orange County alone, ACORN workers turned in multiple copycat forms for six separate voters over the summer. According to the Miami Herald, “One individual had 21 duplicate applications.”

Election officials had flagged ACORN’s negligent practices several months ago, but it may be too late: In Orange, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, ACORN has signed up 135,000 new voters, nearly 60 percent of them registered as Democrats that constitute a fifth of all new voters in that region.

– In Ohio, large numbers of homeless people received free van and bus rides to register. Shelby Holliday, a reporter for Palestra.net, filmed ACORN shuttling prospects to the polls. She told me she spoke with one homeless woman who told her ACORN “told her who to vote for if she wanted a ‘better life,’ and told her not to worry about jury duty (one of the reasons this homeless woman didn’t want to register) because the government probably wouldn’t be able to track her down. She was registering with a temporary address.”

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Obama leads by one 45-44

October 8, 2008

Hotline