October 10, 2008

Cramer on Colbert: Dems to Blame for Fan, Fred Debacles

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:47 pm

CramerColbert1008.jpgIt’s sad when just about the only place to get the truth about what happened to precipitate the current mortgage-lending mess is the Colbert Report.

Jim Cramer of CNBC’s “Mad Money” appeared on the Comedy Central show on Monday.

The takeaway soundbites:

  • Cramer said “I’d love to, but I can’t” pin the blame for the debacles at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on President Bush.
  • He noted that “the Democrats got a lot of campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie and vice-versa. It was a big circle,” and that this is what enabled the two government-sponsored enterprises to continue “to lend to anybody.”

Though Colbert was in attempting-comedy mode, Cramer eventually got to the point where he clearly wasn’t kidding (video is at the National Review Media Blog link).

Here’s the relevant verbiage, which begins at the 2:20 mark (bolds are mine):

Colbert: Let’s count the different ways this is Bill Clinton’s fault. Um, too much regulation, right? Too much regulation. Fannie, Freddie, bad, bad.

Cramer and Colbert: Bad. Bad-bad-bad-bad.

Colbert: Because he expanded that, right?

Cramer: Well, they were allowed to lend to anybody who walked in. Anybody who walked in got up to 400 thousand dollars.

Colbert: What are we doing giving loans to people who need money?

Cramer: It’s outrageous, outrageous, but it’s also, what, they were set up to do that. They were set up to give people loans who couldn’t get ‘em otherwise.

Colbert: So that’s, so that’s it. It was the government that did it.

Cramer: Oh, everybody participated but the government did have a lot to do with it.

Colbert: Okay, so we can safely not blame this on, on, on, the Bush Administration.

Cramer: No, you can’t. Honestly, you can’t blame it on the Bush Administration.

Colbert: You cannot.

Cramer: No you can’t.

Colbert: A-ha-ha-ha!

Cramer: You actually can’t.

Colbert: Thank you.

Cramer: I’d love to but I can’t. It doesn’t work.

Colbert: All right.

It’s historically inaccurate.

Colbert: All right, but whose fault is it?

Cramer: Well I mean the Democrats wanted them to be able to lend to anybody.

Colbert: I love you. Go ahead.

Cramer: It’s true. It is true. Because the Democrats got a lot of campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie and vice-versa. It was a big circle. Uh, the Republicans did believe that everybody, we had this “everyone should own a house” thing, including, uh, people who were undocumented, and ….

Colbert: Or one person should own every house. That’s John McCain’s idea.

Cramer: Yeah, yeah, he’s got a lot of houses. He’s got like all the greens and yellows like on Monopoly.

Colbert was too anxious to deliver his McCain “every house” line, and as a result was clearly not listening to Cramer at the end of the excerpt. Thus, we’ll never know, unless he is asked elsewhere, whether Cramer’s “undocumented” reference was to so-called “low doc” loans that required very little paperwork and little or no proof of income, or to non-citizens (the “undocumented,” in politically correct parlance) who were able to obtain mortgages because of lax documentation requirements. Warner Todd Huston reported at NewsBusters yesterday that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that “Some five million fraudulent home mortgages are in the hands of illegal aliens.”

As noted in the intro, Colbert’s show is about the only place where the fundamental origins of the Fan and Fred debacles, which I have taken to calling Fredron and Fanron, have been brought out — and that may have been an accident.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Couldn’t Help But Comment (101008, Morning)

PUNK Messiah (Previously Unaccomplished Nonsupporter of Kin) debunks himself — in fact, this is a major walkback on something that I somehow haven’t covered in any meaningful way until now:

Obama on Ayers: ‘I assumed that he had been rehabilitated’

Obama offered the clearest explanation yet of how an extremely careful politician allowed himself anywhere near a former ’60s radical who would become a Republican target in this year’s presidential campaign.

Obama “had assumed” from Bill Ayers’ stature in Chicago, he told the Philadelphia-based Michael Smerconish, that Ayers had been “rehabilitated” since his 1960s crimes.

In the interview, which was taped this afternoon and will air tomorrow ….. Obama recalled moving back to Chicago after law school, and becoming involved in civic life there.

Audio is at the link.

Previously, in a Democratic primary debate, Obama “cleverly” hid behind his age during the 1960s to imply that until recently he had no idea that Bill Ayers had a radical history:

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense.

The average viewer would have assumed that Ayers’s violent past AND unrepentance were unknown to Obama until very recently. The fact that Obama has relented on knowing about the the first half all along makes his claim about the second half seem like a load of rubbish — as it probably is.

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One doesn’t necessarily disprove the other, but this is certainly an odd juxtaposition:

  • According to yesterday’s “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio, “A draft report by U.S. intelligence agencies says the situation in Afghanistan is in a “downward spiral” as Taliban fighters threaten stability in the region.”
  • After averaging about 40 during the previous four months, icasualties.org reports just one coalition fatality in Afghanistan so far in October.

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Incredibly, deep new cutbacks at L.A. Times — I don’t know, 650 still sounds like an awful lot of people to cover the news, even in metro LA.

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From Norma at Collecting My Thoughts — “Obama votes pro-growth 0%; McCain 94%.” The Club for Growth link doesn’t actually rank McCain because he didn’t attend enough votes, but the point is still obvious. Biden also got a big, fat goose-egg.

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From the “Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining” Dept. — Sure, the markets have tanked. But New York Times Company stock closed yesterday at $12.17, its lowest level in about 11 years. That’s down well over 75% since mid-June 2002, which coincides, oddly enough, with the onset of the Times’s serious case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Update: As of about noon, NYT stock fell to $11.22, which is 78 cents below its previous 52-week intraday low, before recovering most of its losses.

Positivity: Miracle Boy to Join Charity Mile

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Barrow, UK:

Last updated 13:16, Saturday, 27 September 2008

A MIRACLE boy who came back from the brink is now gearing up for a one-mile charity run.

Just four months ago, Reece Finlayson’s heart stopped for seven minutes and for weeks he battled a critical illness that almost claimed his life.

But this month, Reece amazed everyone by returning to school.

And now, the six-year-old is wowing people again by preparing for the one-mile, Mini North Run on October 4.

Reece was disappointed when it looked like he would not be able to do the event in Newcastle.

But his physiotherapist has now declared he is well enough.

Reece, from Barrow, and a pupil at the town’s Holy Family Catholic Primary School, will walk and jog the course with his mum, Pamela Burton, 25.

The pair will dress as pirates.

The next day, Miss Burton will run the 13.2-mile Great North Run with her mum and auntie. Reece and his family are raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a disease which he has.

Miss Burton said: “Reece was disappointed when he was not going to be doing it because he wanted to get a medal. Now he’s happy that he’s going to get his own medal.”

Reece, who took part in the event last year, fell ill with a rota virus in May.

While at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in Pendlebury, his heart stopped beating for seven minutes.

He was revived but medics warned his family that his chances of survival were slim. Reece had encephalitis, a brain infection, multiple organ failure and his body was in septic shock.

Doctors said Reece’s only chance was to find a hospital with an ECMO machine.

He was flown to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and started to recover.

He was transferred back to Pendlebury, then Furness General Hospital in July.

The plucky youngster was in hospital for a total of 10 weeks.

This was Reece’s second fight for life. As a baby, he had two cardiac arrests and survived five operations. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.