Welcome, one and all to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the ‘sphere… The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble.

  • THROWING MARTHA COAKLEY A LIFE PRESERVER: At the Washington Examiner, Byron York looks at reports from Massachusetts and says:

    Frantic over the possibility that a Democrat might lose the race to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts, the Democratic National Committee has sent its top spinner, Hari Sevugan, to the aid of Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, who appears to be rapidly losing ground to Republican Scott Brown. But what can Sevugan do to shore up Coakley’s struggling campaign? Well, he spent his first day on the job trying to tie Brown to Sarah Palin.

    Yeah, like that’s a real injury. Sevugan’s comments reflect a misunderstanding of reality that is shocking in it’s depth.  The fact is, Palin and her people have far more in the way of support than the Democrats do… which is why his party is having such a problem big problem, even in the long-time Democrat stronghold of Massachusetts. Or, if you prefer Martha Coakley’s spelling, “Massachusettes”.
    I see from Jim Hoft, a bit of the debate that’s been making the news rounds. Even FNC didn’t catch this one.  Coakley claims, incredibly, that

    “I think we have done what we are going to be able to do in Afghanistan. I think that we should plan an exit strategy. Yes. I’m not sure there is a way to succeed. If the goal was and the mission in Afghanistan was to go in because we believed that the Taliban was giving harbor to terrorists. We supported that. I supported that. They’re gone. They’re not there anymore.”

    Jim has vid, of course. From here, looks like these comments have as much research and credibility to them as Sevugan’s letter writing does. That is… Zero.

    “A new revelation makes their failures look more contrived than incompetent.” and goes on from there:

    If the previous statement seems extreme, consider this shocking revelation carried in the Wall Street Journal last week — a tidbit that also, strangely enough, has barely gotten any notice in the rest of the establishment media:

    New research by Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer for Fannie Mae and a housing expert, has found that from the time Fannie and Freddie began buying risky loans as early as 1993, they routinely misrepresented the mortgages they were acquiring, reporting them as prime when they had characteristics that made them clearly subprime or Alt-A.

    Before Pinto’s bombshell, we knew that Fan and Fred were used as instruments to “encourage” loans to undeserving borrowers. We knew that this “encouragement” was enforced through the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a law originally passed in the 1970s that was “progressively” given threatening teeth in ensuing years.

    We have known for some time, as described in my September 2008 column, that Fan and Fred lowered the qualifying standards for conventional and subprime loans they would buy from participating lenders roughly as follows (quoting from that column):

    The credit score threshold for conventional mortgages, which had generally been 670 or more, dropped to about 630. In the real world, a score of 630 indicates that you’re having trouble with your debt load, paying your bills on time, or a little of both.

    More ominously, the credit score threshold for subprime mortgages, which had generally been 630 or more, fell to about 590. A score of 590 is the credit scoring equivalent of barely having a pulse.

    We know that in doing this, Fan and Fred, as well as those who underwrote or bought securities backed by these conventional and subprime mortgages, were taking a huge risk by hoping that borrowers with mediocre or poor credit histories would somehow keep up with their mortgage payments.

    As one of the commentariat there points out, this is the Cloward/Piven strategy writ large.  Consider this, from Wikipedia:

    Historian Robert E. Weir argues that the original goal of the strategy was to bring about a crisis in the welfare system that would require radical reforms.[5] A major article in the New York Times in 1970 investigated the welfare system and discussed the impact of the Cloward-Piven strategy.[6] Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus, was quoted in 1982 as saying that the strategy could be effective because “Great Society programs ‘had created a vast army of full-time liberal activists whose salaries are paid from the taxes of conservative working people.”.[7] Robert Chandler claimed, “The socialist test case for using society’s poor and disadvantaged people as sacrificial “shock troops,” in accordance with the Cloward-Piven strategy, was demonstrated in 1975, when new prospective welfare recipients flooded New York City with payment demands, which may have contributed to the bankrupting of the state government.”[8] Other observers credit the city’s bankruptcy to the mismanagement caused by politics, encouraging “frequently maturing short-term debt that left officials constantly scrambling to pay off loans”[9]

    In the end, what Cloward/Piven does, and does well, is create a situation of state manufactured crisis, so that the state can come in and solve the problem that it originally created, without ever taking the blame for creating the problem.
    A prime example of that would be passenger railroad service in America.  Between the government and the unions, both controlled by the left, railroads were ultimately forced out of existence in terms of being business entity.  Along comes the government, creating such money sucking government operations as Amtrak and Conrail.
    Fannie and Freddie were created as an independent set of organizations, ostensibly to operate independently of the Federal government.  The radical left now has managed to arrange it so that they are no longer operating as such, but are now directly under the Federal government, supposedly in response to a crisis that was of the leftist-controlled government’s making.  As you do your research on that statement, cross reference the name Barney Frank. With due respect to Tom for the great work he’s done here, it’s not like this is new, gang. Here’s a reminder from last October:

    What amazes me is that the bastards that run the place, are still gonna end up making millions off it, off US… the taxpayer gets left holding the bag. And that disciple of Cloward/Piven, Slobhbering Barney, keeps getting re-elected, why, again?

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes go out to John Hawkins of Right Wing News
  • PERSONAL NOTE: I go back for my road test the morning of the 19th. I’lll hopefully have some good news for you that night.

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