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Thread: Freddie’s Friend: Freddie Mac continued checks to McCain campaign chief's firm.

  1. #1
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    Freddie’s Friend: Freddie Mac continued checks to McCain campaign managers firm.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/160561

    Freddie’s Friend
    Freddie Mac continued checks to McCain campaign chief's firm.


    By Michael Isikoff | Newsweek Web Exclusive
    Sep 23, 2008 | Updated: 7:39 p.m. ET Sep 23, 2008

    Since 2006, the federally sponsored mortgage giant Freddie Mac has paid at least $345,000 to the lobbying and consulting firm of John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement.

    Freddie Mac had previously paid an advocacy group run by Davis, called the Homeownership Alliance, $30,000 a month until the end 2005, when that group was dissolved. That relationship was the subject of a New York Times story Monday, which drew angry denunciations from the McCain campaign. McCain and his aides have vehemently objected to suggestions that Davis has ties to Freddie Mac—an especially sensitive issue given that the Republican presidential candidate has blamed "the lobbyists, politicians and bureaucrats" for the mortgage crisis that recently prompted the Bush administration to take over both Freddie Mac and its companion, Fannie Mae, and put them under federal conservatorship.

    But neither the Times story—nor the McCain campaign—revealed that Davis's lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, based in Washington, D.C., continued to receive $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac until last month—long after the Homeownership Alliance had been terminated. The two sources, who requested anonymity discussing sensitive information, told NEWSWEEK that Davis himself approached Freddie Mac in 2006 and asked for a new consulting arrangement that would allow his firm to continue to be paid. The arrangement was approved by Hollis McLoughlin, Freddie Mac's senior vice president for external relations, because "he [Davis] was John McCain's campaign manager and it was felt you couldn't say no," said one of the sources. [McLoughlin did not return phone calls].

    When asked about his own campaign manager's associations with the mortgage giants, McCain, in an interview with CNBC Sunday night, said that Davis "has had nothing to do" with the Homeownship Alliance since it disbanded and "I'll be glad to have his record examined by anybody who wants to look at it." (The Homeownership Alliance was set up and funded by both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to promote the goal of home ownership and counter efforts to impose tighter regulations on the two federally sponsored entities.)

    Davis, in a conference call arranged by the McCain campaign on Monday, said "it's been over three years since there's been any activity in this area and since I had any contact with those folks." Davis also said he "had a severed leave of absence" from his lobbying and consulting firm, and "I've taken no compensation from my firm for 18 months." (A campaign spokesman said that Davis receives no partnership distribution under his arrangement).

    It is not unusual for major corporations to enter into consulting retainers so that individuals could be available if needed. And the two sources stressed that Davis at no time made any threats or demands on Freddie Mac. But the sources indicated that Freddie Mac seldom called on Davis or the firm. On one occasion, Davis was asked to attend a meeting of the firm's political action committee during the 2006 campaign in order to give the Republican Party's perspective on the upcoming elections. In addition, Davis did meet with McLoughlin for breakfast on "one or two" occasions. Other than that, one source said, Davis "doesn't do anything" for Freddie Mac. The firm "doesn't even talk to him." In addition, Freddie Mac has had no contact with Davis Manafort other than receiving monthly invoices from the firm and paying them. But the money could be perceived as helping Freddie Mac ensure a good relationship with one of McCain's top aides in the event that he became president. The payments, along with other lobbying and consulting contracts, are expected to be terminated by the new federal overseers, the sources said.

    Sharon McHale, the vice president for Freddie Mac, declined any comment on the firm's arrangement with Davis. Other Freddie Mac officials did not return phone calls. Davis did not respond to emails and a phone call seeking comment. Asked for comment, Jill Hazelbaker, the McCain campaign communications director, said: "Rick left Davis Manafort and stopped taking salary from the firm in 2006 and, as Davis Manafort is an entity wholly unrelated to the campaign and any of its employees, all questions about Davis Manafort's practice should be directed to Davis Manafort."

    "Who Davis Manafort represents during a period when no employee of the campaign is associated with the firm, is a matter that has nothing to do with this campaign," she added. "Finally, the relationship that Davis Manafort had with Freddie was not a lobbying relationship during Rick's tenure. Rick was never a lobbyist for Freddie."

    Davis Manafort also did not return a phone call seeking comment.

    McCain has made an issue of the relationship between some of Obama's supporters and Fannie and Freddie. Jim Johnson, the former Fannie Mae chief executive, was initially tapped to help vet potential running mates for the Democratic nominee, until controversy over his appointment forced him to step aside. And McCain's campaign has questioned Obama's ties to Franklin Raines, another Fannie Mae chief executive. Both Johnson and Raines received generous payouts from the mortgage buyer.
    Last edited by Tyler Durden; 09-23-2008 at 10:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    So how does everyone "perceive" this news? other than Newsweek being in the tank for Obama.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
    So how does everyone "perceive" this news? other than Newsweek being in the tank for Obama.

    Do you think the Dems want to go anywhere near that? Do me a favor. REALLY look into who the "friends" of Freddy/Fanny are and who took money from them. Then come back and post something intelligent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntonio_JetFan View Post
    Do you think the Dems want to go anywhere near that? Do me a favor. REALLY look into who the "friends" of Freddy/Fanny are and who took money from them. Then come back and post something intelligent.
    then look into who the executives, board members, and lobbyists for Freddy/Fannie gave money to....

    really look into it...

  5. #5
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    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008...-of-fanni.html

    Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
    Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008



    Name
    Office
    Party/State
    Total

    1. Dodd, Christopher J
    S
    D-CT
    $133,900

    2. Kerry, John
    S
    D-MA
    $111,000

    3. Obama, Barack
    S
    D-IL
    $105,849

    4. Clinton, Hillary
    S
    D-NY
    $75,550

    5. Kanjorski, Paul E
    H
    D-PA
    $65,500

    6. Bennett, Robert F
    S
    R-UT
    $61,499

    7. Johnson, Tim
    S
    D-SD
    $61,000

    8. Conrad, Kent
    S
    D-ND
    $58,991

    9. Davis, Tom
    H
    R-VA
    $55,499

    10. Bond, Christopher S 'Kit'
    S
    R-MO
    $55,400

    11. Bachus, Spencer
    H
    R-AL
    $55,300

    12. Shelby, Richard C
    S
    R-AL
    $55,000

    13. Emanuel, Rahm
    H
    D-IL
    $51,750

    14. Reed, Jack
    S
    D-RI
    $50,750

    15. Carper, Tom
    S
    D-DE
    $44,389

    16. Frank, Barney
    H
    D-MA
    $40,100

    17. Maloney, Carolyn B
    H
    D-NY
    $38,750

    18. Bean, Melissa
    H
    D-IL
    $37,249

    19. Blunt, Roy
    H
    R-MO
    $36,500

    20. Pryce, Deborah
    H
    R-OH
    $34,750

    21. Miller, Gary
    H
    R-CA
    $33,000

    22. Pelosi, Nancy
    H
    D-CA
    $32,750

    23. Reynolds, Tom
    H
    R-NY
    $32,700

    24. Hoyer, Steny H
    H
    D-MD
    $30,500

    25. Hooley, Darlene
    H
    D-OR
    $28,750



    Includes contributions from PACs and individuals.
    2008 cycle totals based on data downloaded from the
    Federal Election Commission on June 30, 2008.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by piney View Post
    then look into who the executives, board members, and lobbyists for Freddy/Fannie gave money to....

    really look into it...
    Campaign donations are small-potatos compared to how Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac were run into the ground.

    I think the FBI has just announced an investigation into this.


  7. #7
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    I would love to see the dems try to make an issue of it...

    Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac execs now offering advice to Obama
    Senator's links to mortgage giants also include campaign contributions
    Posted: September 17, 2008

    By Jerome R. Corsi

    NEW YORK – Campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made to Barack Obama may backfire if the Democratic presidential hopeful wages an aggressive campaign to cast blame on rival John McCain and the Republicans in Congress for the mortgage-related losses that forced the U.S. Treasury to take over the quasi-governmental mortgage giants.

    A review of Federal Election Commission records back to 1989 reveals Obama in his three complete years in the Senate is the second largest recipient of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae campaign contributions, behind only Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., the powerful chairman of the Senate banking committee. Dodd was first elected to the Senate in 1980.

    According to OpenSecrets.com, from 1989 to 2008, Dodd received $165,400 in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac campaign contributions, including contributions from PACs and individuals, followed by Obama, who received $126,349 in such contributions since being elected to the Senate in 2004.

    In contrast, McCain warned of the coming mortgage crisis as he pressed in 2005 for regulatory reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    "For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – known as government-sponsored entities or GSEs – and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market," McCain said on the floor of the Senate in 2005, speaking in favor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005.

    McCain pointed out Fannie Mae's regulator had stated the company's quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were "illusions deliberately and systematically created" by the company's senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

    The bill passed the House but was never brought up for a vote in the Senate, largely because of Democratic opposition to change in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulatory structure that remained in place until the Treasury takeover two weeks ago.

    As evidenced by the failure to pass the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, the Democrats in Congress have repeatedly fought back Republican Party efforts to reform the two mortgage banking giants.

    Instead, Democrats in Congress have sought to preserve the quasi-governmental status of the mortgage giants, seeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as places to locate former top Democratic Party operatives, where they have earned millions in compensation, despite a continuing series of financial scandals. Enron-like accounting manipulation, for example, boosted earnings to a level at which massive executive bonuses could be paid.

    In the aftermath of the U.S. government takeover, attention has focused on three Democrats with close ties to Obama who served as Fannie Mae executives: Franklin Raines, former Clinton administration budget director; James Johnson, former aide to Democratic Vice President Walter Mondale; and Jamie Gorelick, former Clinton administration deputy attorney general.

    All three Obama-related executives earned millions in compensation from Fannie Mae.


    Johnson earned $21 million in just his last year serving as Fannie Mae CEO from 1991 to 1998; Raines earned $90 million in his five years as Fannie Mae CEO, from 1999 to 2004; and Gorelick earned an estimated $26 million serving as vice chair of Fannie Mae from 1998 to 2003, according to author David Frum, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

    All three have been involved in mortgage-related financial scandals.[/B]

    In 1998, according to the Washington Post, Gorelick, as Fannie Mae vice chairman, received a bonus of $779,625, despite a scandal in which employees falsified signatures on accounting transactions to manipulate books to meet 1998 earning targets. The moves, in turn, triggered multi-million-dollar bonuses for top executives.

    According to the Associated Press, Raines and several other Fannie Mae top executives were ordered in a civil lawsuit to pay nearly $31.4 million for manipulating Fannie Mae earnings over a period of six years to trigger their massive bonuses.

    Raines was also forced in the settlement to give up Fannie Mae stock options valued at $15.6 million.


    Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged Freddie Mac had engaged in accounting fraud from 2000 to 2002, imposing a $50 million fine on the company and on four executives fines for amounts ranging from $65,000 to $250,000.

    Raines currently advises Obama on housing policy.

    Johnson was appointed to head Obama's vice presidential selection committee, until a controversy concerning an alleged $7 millions in questionable real estate loans he received on favorable terms from failed sub-prime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial surfaced and forced him to step down.

    WND previously reported a panel chaired by Elena Kagan, dean and professor of law at Harvard Law School, speculated at the June two-day meeting of the American Constitution Society that Gorelick was a possible attorney general cabinet appointment if Obama should be elected president.

    The decision by the U.S. Treasury to take over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could end up costing the U.S. taxpayer as much as $100 billion, although the extent of losses at the two giant mortgage companies remains to be determined.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, Freddie and Fannie own or guarantee about $5.2 trillion worth of mortgages.

    The riskiest loans held by Freddie and Fannie are known as "Alt-A" and sub-prime mortgages, worth about $780 billion, or about 15 percent of the total portfolio.

    The federal government takeover of Freddie and Fannie passes to U.S. taxpayers the contingent liability for failures in the entire $5.2 trillion loan portfolio held by the two mortgage giants.

    Over the past four quarters, Freddie and Fannie have suffered losses of about $14 billion, as the mortgage market has been hit by a wave of defaults and foreclosures not seen in the U.S. since the 1930s.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
    So how does everyone "perceive" this news?
    Everybody is getting money from everybody? I am shocked, sir, just shocked.

  9. #9
    From http://www.investors.com/editorial/I...20080922&rss=1


    'Crony' Capitalism Is Root Cause Of Fannie And Freddie Troubles
    BY TERRY JONES

    INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

    Posted 9/22/2008

    In the past couple of weeks, as the financial crisis has intensified, a new talking point has emerged from the Democrats in Congress: This is all a "crisis of capitalism," in socialist financier George Soros' phrase, and a failure to regulate our markets sufficiently.

    Well, those critics may be right — it is a crisis of capitalism. A crisis of politically driven crony capitalism, to be precise.

    Indeed, Democrats have so effectively mastered crony capitalism as a governing strategy that they've convinced many in the media and the public that they had nothing whatsoever to do with our current financial woes.

    Barack Obama has repeatedly blasted "Bush-McCain" economic policies as the cause, as if the two were joined at the hip.

    Funny, because over the past 8 years, those who tried to fix Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) — the trigger for today's widespread global financial meltdown — were stymied repeatedly by congressional Democrats.

    This wasn't an accident. Though some key Republicans deserve blame as well, it was a concerted Democratic effort that made reform of Fannie and Freddie impossible.

    The reason for this is simple: Fannie and Freddie became massive providers both of reliable votes among grateful low-income homeowners, and of massive giving to the Democratic Party by grateful investment bankers, both at the two government-sponsored enterprises and on Wall Street.

    The result: A huge taxpayer rescue that at last estimate is approaching $700 billion but may go even higher.

    It all started, innocently enough, in 1994 with President Clinton's rewrite of the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act.

    Ostensibly intended to help deserving minority families afford homes — a noble idea — it instead led to a reckless surge in mortgage lending that has pushed our financial system to the brink of chaos.

    Subprime's Mentors

    Fannie and Freddie, the main vehicle for Clinton's multicultural housing policy, drove the explosion of the subprime housing market by buying up literally hundreds of billions of dollars in substandard loans — funding loans that ordinarily wouldn't have been made based on such time-honored notions as putting money down, having sufficient income, and maintaining a payment record indicating creditworthiness.

    With all the old rules out the window, Fannie and Freddie gobbled up the market. Using extraordinary leverage, they eventually controlled 90% of the secondary market mortgages. Their total portfolio of loans topped $5.4 trillion — half of all U.S. mortgage lending. They borrowed $1.5 trillion from U.S. capital markets with — wink, wink — an "implicit" government guarantee of the debts.

    This created the problem we are having today.

    As we noted a week ago, subprime lending surged from around $35 billion in 1994 to nearly $1 trillion last year — for total growth of 2,757% as of last year.

    No real market grows that fast for that long without being fixed.

    And that's just what Fannie and Freddie were — fixed. They became a government-run, privately owned home finance monopoly.

    Fannie and Freddie became huge contributors to Congress, spending millions to influence votes. As we've noted here before, the bulk of the money went to Democrats.

    Dollars To Dems

    Meanwhile, Fannie and Freddie also became a kind of jobs program for out-of-work Democrats.

    Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, the CEOs under whom the worst excesses took place in the late 1990s to mid-2000s, were both high-placed Democratic operatives and advisers to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

    Clinton administration official Jamie Gorelick also got taken care of by the Fannie-Freddie circle. So did top Clinton aide Rahm Emanuel, among others.

    On the surface, this sounds innocent. Someone has to head the highly political Fannie and Freddie, right?

    But this is why crony capitalism is so dangerous. Those in power at Fannie and Freddie, as the sirens began to wail about some of their more egregious practices, began to bully those who opposed them.

    That included journalists, like the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot, and GOP congressmen, like Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, whom Fannie and Freddie actively lobbied against in his own district. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who tried to hold hearings on Fannie's and Freddie's questionable accounting practices in 2004, found himself stripped of responsibility for their oversight by House Speaker Dennis Hastert — a Republican.

    Where, you ask, were the regulators?

    Congress created a weak regulator to oversee Freddie and Fannie — the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight — which had to go hat in hand each year to Capitol Hill for its budget, unlike other major regulators.

    With lax oversight, Fannie and Freddie had a green light to expand their operations at breakneck speed.

    Fannie and Freddie had a reliable coterie of supporters in the Senate, especially among Democrats.

    "We now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years," wrote economist Kevin Hassett on Bloomberg.com this week.

    Buying Friends In High Places

    Over the span of his career, Obama ranks No. 2 in campaign donations from Fannie and Freddie, taking over $125,000. Dodd, head of the Senate Banking panel, is tops at $165,000. Clinton, ranked 12th, has collected $75,000.

    Meanwhile, Freddie and Fannie opened what were euphemistically called "Partnership Offices" in the districts of key members of Congress to channel millions of dollars in funding and patronage to their supporters.

    In the space of a little more than a decade, Fannie and Freddie spent close to $150 million on lobbying efforts. So pervasive were their efforts, they seemed unassailable, even during a Republican administration.

    Yet, by 2004, the crony capitalism had gone too far. Even OFHEO issued a report essentially criticizing Fannie and Freddie for Enron-style accounting that let them boost profits in order to pay their politically well-connected executives hefty bonuses.

    It emerged that Clinton aide Raines, who took Fannie Mae's helm as CEO in 1999, took in nearly $100 million by the time he left in 2005. Others, including former Clinton Justice Department official Gorelick, took $75 million from the Fannie-Freddie piggy bank.

    Even so, Fannie and Freddie were forced to restate their earnings by some $3.5 billion, due to the accounting shenanigans.

    As we noted, those who tried to halt this frenzy of activity found themselves hit by a political buzz saw.

    President Bush, reviled and criticized by Democrats, tried no fewer than 17 times, by White House count, to raise the issue of Fannie-Freddie reform. A bill cleared the Senate Banking panel in 2005, but stalled due to implacable opposition from Democrats and a critical core of GOP abettors. Rep. Barney Frank, who now runs the powerful House Financial Services Committee, helped spearhead that fight.

    Now, with the taxpayer tab approaching $1 trillion or more, we're learning the costs of crony capitalism.

    In the coming days, an IBD series will look into this phenomenon in greater detail — how we got here, who's responsible, and why nothing was done.

  10. #10
    Tyler and piney -- no response?

  11. #11
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    Obama's Buddy Raines made millions of dollars in 6 years at Freddie.

  12. #12
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    You people are so ignorant of the facts it's laughable.
    Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac execs now offering advice to Obama
    Senator's links to mortgage giants also include campaign contributions
    Posted: September 17, 2008

    By Jerome R. Corsi
    Yes, the same Corsi who wrote a biography of Obama which is widely discredited as a smear job full of lies and innuendoes.
    The Obama Nation
    Main article: The Obama Nation
    Corsi's book The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality was released on August 1, 2008, and is critical of Barack Obama and his candidacy for President. In response, the Obama campaign issued a 40 page rebuttal called "Unfit for Publication" on his website FightTheSmears.com, alleging serious factual errors.[36] The Democratic National Committee responded calling him "One of the most vile smear peddlers of the 2004 election" and he was "too crazy even for Swiftboat liars."[37] According to various American news sources, many of the accusations made in the book are unsubstantiated, misleading, or inaccurate.[38][39][40][41][42][43][44] [45]

    According to The New York Times, "Significant parts of the book, whose subtitle is 'Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality,' have already been challenged as misleading or false in the days since its debut on Aug. 1. Nonetheless, it is to make its first appearance on The Times' best-seller list for nonfiction hardcovers this Sunday — at No. 1."[43] Corsi has conducted over 100 interviews promoting the book[43], including a scheduled appearance[46][47] on the The Political Cesspool, a white supremacist[48] radio talk show. He previously appeared on the show on July 20th, [49] but he cancelled his August 17th appearance because of a change in "travel plans".[50]

    The Obama Nation has been criticized by Paul Waldman as being "filled with falsehoods", [51] and in a debate with Corsi on Larry King Live, Waldman accused Corsi of using baseless innuendo as a tactic to 'smear' Obama.[52]

    Corsi's book was published by Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster whose chief editor, the New York Times reports, "is Mary Matalin, the former Republican operative turned publisher-pundit."[53]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Corsi
    And Raines? Oh yes he once said to a Washington Post reporter that someone from the Obama campaign once called him to ask him a few questions about the housing crisis, and that makes him Obama's main buddy and advisor.

    Yeah keep quoting this right wing bs. Why bother to let the truth into your mindset? It might cloud your thinking.

    Oh another doozy just notice San Antonio. George Soros is a socialist? Maybe he has the wrong George. George Bush has turned out to be more of a Socialitst than Soros ever was.
    Last edited by Queens Jet Fan; 09-24-2008 at 11:16 AM.

  13. #13

    Ouch! McCain Campaign Manager paid $15,000 a month by Freddie Mac

    Just ouch. We all know that a good number of top people in both/all campaigns are up to their hips in lobbying cash, but the timing and appearance of this is about as bad as it could be. Also, for a kicker, McCain seems to have lied (or simply had no idea) about this very openly to the press.

    This is starting to remind me more and more of the West Wing scenario in the final season. For those who didn't watch -- a crisis occurred during the heat of the campaign in which the Republican candidate was deeply involved and it ended up killing his campaign and electing an unlikely, although handsome (no homo) Latin candidate.



    http://www.newsweek.com/id/160561/output/print

  14. #14
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    Durden is a 20 year old kid...give him time to figure it out for himself...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet_Engine1 View Post
    Durden is a 20 year old kid...give him time to figure it out for himself...
    Creepy, I don't even know who you are, and frankly don't give a ****.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntonio_JetFan View Post
    Tyler and piney -- no response?
    to your article that you posted?

    it isn't very factual and makes a lot of conclusions based on not too much evidence...sounds like a hit piece to me...so it doesn't hold a lot of weight, IMO.

    I mean, it wrongly describes Raines and Johnson as high level advisors, something that has been debunked, and it ignores money given to republicans by Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac lobbyists and executives, the ones who gain the most from this bailout and from doing business as usual, it makes an absurd claim that low income housing loans are the sole cause for this crisis and that it was merely a tool to get low income and minority home owners to vote Dem, which is ludicrous if low income minorities have done that for years, and then it makes it sound as if it wasn't profitable...

    a partisan hit piece....

  17. #17
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    It is both parties fault, nobody stepped up to the plate.

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