October 20, 2008

Let’s Never Find Out: Part 1 — Part of the Problem

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:13 am

Note: This is the first of what will be 13 posts on why Barack Obama is a dangerous, objectionable, and objectively unfit candidate to be president of the United States (while many of the other candidates are not).

The daily videos involved will be from NeverFindOut.org, a project of Let Freedom Ring (donation link is here).

This post is part of the fledgling HOPE ON Project (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now). Other SOB participants today include these (will update as time allows) Maggie Thurber, Buckeye RINO, NixGuy, Freedom’s Right.

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Video — “Part of the Problem“:

Transcript:

Part of the Problem

WOMAN: Senator Obama, the papers say that you are benefiting politically from the financial crisis.

MAN: But if America knew the facts, I don’t know how they could vote for you.

WOMAN: John McCain tried to blow the whistle on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over two years ago. In 2006, he told the Senate, “For years, I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…. The GSEs (government-sponsored enterprises) need to be reformed without delay.”

MAN: No wonder he didn’t get their political contributions. And who opposed the reforms John McCain was calling for? Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd, and John Kerry.

WOMAN: Wait, it gets better. Guess who received campaign contributions from the people who drove Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into the ground? Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd and John Kerry.

MAN: John McCain saw this coming. You, Senator Obama, have been part of the problem.

ANNOUNCER: What happens when we elect a Senator who’s part of the biggest financial crisis in U.S. history? Please, America, let’s never find out.

Additional Commentary:

This could be a book (and should be), but here is a chronology of what happened:

The Jimmy Carter-”inspired,” Bill Clinton-”enhanced” Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) intimidated banks and the GSE into lending money to people who were unreasonable credit risks.

The GSEs facilitated the extension of risky credit by buying risky mortgage loans the banks originated. They did so by reducing the credit-score approval thresholds built into their credit analysis software programs (Desktop Underwriter at Fannie Mae, Loan Prospector at Freddie Mac) for both conventional and subprime (i.e., very risky) loans.

GSE executive management was heavily populated by Democrats who had been in government service (e.g., Franklin Raines, who is, incredibly, a current Obama adviser). Managements at both companies cooked the books and let accounting chaos reign. Both companies paid out wildly excessive bonuses based on fictitious earnings.

Attempts like McCain’s to reform the two GSEs were met with cries of “racism” by Democrats in Congress who thought lending money to people who had a high likelihood of not paying it back, thereby ruining their credit, was a good idea.

The high default rates on loans purchased by the two GSEs led both companies into receivership, and shook the mortgage lending industry to its foundations, and lead to the most serious declines in real estate values in generations.

The collapses at the two GSEs created contributed to problems that were so far-reaching that the government felt compelled to formulate a “bailout” plan that could very cost future generations hundreds of billions of dollars.

The financial-sector problems that can be laid at the feet of the GSEs are negatively affecting the rest of the economy. After 6 years of virtually uninterrupted growth, a recession could occur.

Barack Obama’s role in all of this was one of contributing to the problem as a young lawyer/”activist” (suing a banking giant to intimidate it into making irresponsible loans), and failure to act to prevent the GSE train wreck while a US senator.

This is not “Judgment to Lead.” Electing someone so beholden to so many who are so corrupt is more like a recipe for calamity.

The POR Economy: I Had NO Idea How Poor

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:06 am

The POR Economy: I Had NO Idea How Poor

In early July, I welcomed readers to the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy:

….. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, presidential candidate Barack Obama, and Senate majority leader Harry Reid aren’t merely talking the economy down; they’re taking it down.

….. Businesses and investors are responding to their total lack of seriousness by battening down the hatches and preparing for the worst.

….. These three and their party appear not to care one whit about the damage ever-higher energy prices and the prospect of punitive taxes are doing, right now, to both the economy and the stock market. They have set and reached a new low in legislative negligence …..

One quarter into the POR Economy, I regret to inform readers that I greatly underestimated the damage these three would do, and how quickly they would do it.

It appears that after decent second-quarter growth of 2.8%, the economy will turn in a performance that might — emphasis might — be positive. If so, it will be thanks to export growth.

Three factors, all courtesy of the POR triumvirate, have led us to this to this point. As noted, I saw two of them coming: energy foolishness and tax increases.

The oil-averse stubbornness of the POR Economy’s architects has ranged from the offensive to the ridiculous. Pelosi infamously asked protesters, “Can we drill your brains?” Reid, who apparently moonlights as a epidemiologist, dolefully informed us that fossil fuels are making us sick. Obama erroneously told us that we can solve our energy problems with tune-ups and tire inflation. Thankfully, because of public pressure in an election year, the offshore drilling ban has expired. But Democrats have made it clear that reinstituting the ban is a “top priority” for next year — never mind the trillions in royalties that could fill federal and state coffers.

Taxes? Congress has no interest in extending the tax system that has been in place during the last six years. Obama is on record saying that having “fair” (i.e., higher) rates of taxation on capital gains is more important than their impact on economic growth or tax receipts.

At his campaign’s web site, Obama has backed off of his original plan to apply the full Social Security payroll tax rate of 12.4% (6.2% employer-paid, 6.2% employee-paid) to all earned income above $250,000:

Instead, he and Joe Biden are considering plans that would ask those making over $250,000 to pay in the range of 2 to 4 percent more in total (combined employer and employee).

(“Ask”? And, as if we don’t know the answer, what if they say “no thanks”?)

But Obama has otherwise doubled down on his redistributionist ideas, in the process claiming that he will deliver “tax cuts” to 95% of Americans. That’s a pretty good trick, considering that over a third of Americans pay no federal income tax already.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal properly called this claim an “illusion”:

For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase “tax credit.”

But if the two previously known factors of energy and taxes weren’t bad enough, the third, one I didn’t anticipate, has been brutal. It can be traced largely to Barack Obama and others with his equal-results, regardless-of-merit mindset.

You see, thanks to blockbuster research done by Ragnar Danneskjold at the Jawa Report, we know that Obama was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against banking behemoth Citibank in 1994, ultimately settled out of court in 1998. In essence, the suit demanded that the bank approve an equal percentage of minority and non-minority mortgage loan applicants. Danneskjold writes that “The net result of this sort of litigation was, of course, that banks like Citibank started approving more subprime loans in the 1990s …..”

Lawsuits like this fueled the explosive growth of these high-risk loans to minority borrowers who could not qualify for conventional mortgage financing. Government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (aka Fanron and Fredron) also responded to these legal pressures by lowering credit-score thresholds for subprime and conventional loan approvals.

The high default and foreclosure rates that followed ultimately led to the crackups at Fan and Fred. Those failures in turn contributed to liquidity problems in the banking system that were apparently so serious that Congress rammed through a $700 billion bank “bailout” package. Despite such supposedly corrective measures, equity markets have steeply dived.

All of this likely makes Barack Obama the first US presidential candidate in history to cause an economic downturn even before the general election has been held.

After experiencing barely one quarter of the POR Economy, can it really be that the American people want four more years of this?

Positivity: Gianna Jessen’s Story

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Southern California, Indiana, and the compassionate side of the human race:

April 6, 1977

It was early morning when 17-year-old Tina entered the abortion clinic. After signing a few papers, she received a saline injection and was told to lie down in a large barrack-like room lined with beds. During the day, about 30 pregnant teenage girls went into labor-and delivered dead babies.

Meanwhile, Tina was still waiting for the contractions to start. The doctor called it a day, leaving a solitary nurse on duty. Close to midnight, Tina’s water broke. She awoke the sleeping nurse and told her what had happened. “Okay,” the nurse responded. “Go back and lie down.” But something uncomfortable was happening. Tina felt the need to push, to expel this unknown substance. Tissue, the professionals called it. Fetal tissue.

By the time she got back to bed, the muscles in her abdomen were contracting incessantly. She had to push–and the nurse still had not responded to her second call.

Reaching down, she felt the wet solid curve of a skull. It’s a head! She thought. Haw can tissue have a head?

At that instant, a thin, penetrating wail pierced the quiet room, where earlier a roomful of women had delivered limp, lifeless fetuses. A baby girl was making a triumphant, indignant way into the world.

December 25, 1989

Diana DePaul was in her Southern California home preparing a Christmas dinner when 12-year-old daughter, Gianna, walked in. Diana had adopted Gianna when she was 4 years old.

“Need any help?” Gianna asked.

“No, it won’t be long,” replied her mom, as she wrestled with the turkey. She took a step back, bumping into Gianna, who was trying to peer over her shoulder.

“Oops!” Gianna said as she stumbled back out of the way. She was quiet for a moment.

“Mom, why do I have cerebral palsy? There must be a reason for it.”

It wasn’t the first time Gianna asked about her disability, and Diana’s standard answer was: “You had a traumatic birth. You were born premature.”

This time Diana sensed that Gianna wasn’t satisfied with that pat answer anymore. As many times as Diana had thought about this moment, she never expected it would come on Christmas Day.

I guess she’s ready, Diana thought. As she started to break 12 years of silence, she felt a great peace settle on her. God knows best, she thought.

“Your biological mother was only 17 when you were born. She probably didn’t have very much hope or money. Maybe she had pressure from a boyfriend, or someone else, so she decided-”

“I was aborted, right?” Gianna said, beating her mother to the punch.

“Yes. How did you know?”

“I just knew.”

Gianna didn’t say anything more right away. She remained thoughtful. But when she spoke, it was with her usual perkiness. “Well, at least I have cerebral palsy for an interesting reason.”

So many Questions

Before that Christmas of 1989, Gianna cried a lot over her biological mother, wanting to know why she gave her up for adoption, wondering what she looked like. But once she found out her mom tried to abort her, she never cried over her again.

She still had questions, however: Why didn’t she want me? When she found out I was still alive, was she sorry she had the abortion? Does she ever think of me? What’s her name? Is she pretty? But there was no point swirling those questions in her mind because the only answers Diana had were from a typed sheet from MediCal on State of California stationery.

The official correspondence referred to Gianna as “an infant born 10 weeks premature, the product of an attempted saline abortion.” The letter also said she had needed oxygen and that she was “Transferred to Harbor General upon birth, where she remained until dishcarge6/6/77.”

At that point, Orange County Department of Social Services placed Gianna in a series of foster homes. Doctors said she would never sit up, much less walk. But when Gianna went to live with one particular foster mother, Penny, at 17 months of age, she connected with a women whose heart was dedicated to nurturing her.

Penny, in her 50′s, loved children. She was also Diana DePaul’s mother. Over the months as Diana DePaul’s mother. Over the months as Diana visited her mother, she fell in love with Gianna and soon decided to adopt her.

I’ll always remember the day I adopted you.” Diana later told her daughter. “It was wonderful. You were 4 – this tiny thing with such bright eyes and a big smile, and those big plastic leg braces. You had worked so hard with Grammy.”

Gianna had wanted to surprise her new mom by being able to walk without her walker before the adoption. On July 24, 1981, Gianna watched Diana’s car pull up, and almost before Diana’s was out of the car, Gianna ran stiffly down the driveway and into her new mother’s arms-all by herself.

That was 13 years ago.

Over the years there have been tough times, including several surgeries to relieve the stiffness in Gianna’s legs. Then there were lonely times in junior high school when friends shunned Gianna. Diana went in to talk to the school principal with her daughter. His solution of providing “volunteer friends” offended Gianna.

That evening, Gianna’s anger gave way to tears. She sobbed into her mother’s lap for a long time. At last she raised her flushed, wet face and asked, “When is God going to heal me, Mom?”

Diana stroked her hair.

“Gianna,” she said, “it might not be God’s will to ever heal you, but He is going to use you in a very special way.”

‘I Forgive Her’

Not long after Gianna learned she had been aborted, a friend of Diana’s called and asked if Gianna could speak at a Mother’s Day banquet at Penny’s church about what it was like being aborted.

Gianna’s answer was immediate. “Sure-if I can sing!” Singing had been her passion since she was 3 years old.

On the night of the banquet, Gianna limped to the front of the room. With a grin on her face, she took the microphone in hand, greeted the group easily and then began to sing. Her sweet, soprano voice was a young,. higher version of Amy Grant’s, but there was a presence about her, a personality all her own.

Afterward, with he microphone cradled in her hands, Gianna began her little talk.

“I’m adopted,” she began. “My biological mother was 17 when I was born. At seven months pregnant, she chose to have a saline abortion. But by the grace of God, I survived.”

Gianna smiled.

“I forgive her totally for what she did. She was young, and she probably had no hope. She didn’t know what she was doing. As a result of the abortion however, I have cerebral palsy-but that’s okay, because I have God to keep me going every day. It’s not always easy, but He is always there. He’s there for you, too.”

She finished by singing Michael W. Smith’s “Friends,” dedicating it to all the babies who die from abortion every day. “They are my friends,” Gianna said, “and I’m going to see them in Heaven some day.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.