“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, August 20, 2010

Two Pols Rewrite History Re: Fannie & Freddie

The Wall Street Journals of the week I was away contained some fascinating articles regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

On August 3, former Fannie CEO Frank Raines wrote a lie-filled letter to the Journal's editors, the facts of which an accompanying staff editorial kindly noted.

In Raines' case, he, according to the Journal staff piece, rewrote history in a manner very flattering to himself and that made Fannie and Freddie out to be saviors of the US mortgage industry.

According to Raines, Wall Street had abandoned the mortgage sector, when, in truth, it was driven out by low-cost, subsidized federal activity which resulted in the meltdown of the entire US financial sector.

On the other hand, we have Barney Frank doing an abrupt about-face this week, now insisting that Fannie and Freddie need to be shuttered.

Quite a change from "roll the dice" Barney of only a few years ago, when he was happily, and publicly, playing roulette with taxpayer money in the residential mortgage arena.

Could Barney be taking seriously the growing voter disgust with his personally having cost them hundreds of billions of dollars of losses?

Yesterday's lead staff Journal editorial claimed to support Frank's newfound beliefs, and I'm sure they do. The question is, how can you trust someone so fickle and shallow?

Barney Frank obviously has no shame, and doesn't care that his video record makes him out to be a liar and an opportunist.

Much like Frank Raines, actually.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

ObamaCare Loses Its First Court Test

I was out of touch with most electronic and print media on August 4th, when the Wall Street Journal published Betsy McCaughey's editorial concerning the failure of ObamaCare to pass its first court test. Thus, I don't know if the loss was covered as such by the usual suspects in network and print media.

McCaughey provided detailed coverage of how the government's motion to dismiss was denied by U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson. He was quite specific in noting the unparalleled expansion of the so-called commerce clause by ObamaCare.

McCaughey noted, in contrast,

"Ms. Sebelius' motion to dismiss the case focused almost entirely on why requiring everyone to buy insurance would be good public policy. In other words, the ends justify the means."

Which is precisely why the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution- to limit what government can do, since so many unconstitutional acts can be justified by their ends.

Reading McCaughey's piece was somewhat anger-inducing for me, as she catalogued the Supreme Court's laughable rulings in Wickard vs. Filburn (1942) and Gonzalez vs. Raich (2005) which so tremendously expanded the federal government's control over situations which were pretty clearly not interstate commerce.

To quote McCaughey, regarding Filburn,

"the Court ruled that the federal government could limit how much wheat a farmer can grow to feed his own animals.

Growing something for personal use doesn't seem like interstate commerce, said the justices, but individual decisions in the aggregate could have an impact on national markets."

So what?

"Having an impact on" isn't the same as actually conducting cross-state-border marketing or other business.

Given the roots of the basis on which ObamaCare was foisted on us, i.e., a few badly-reasoned, common-senseless precedents, it's exasperating to see that become the loopholed used to enslave all Americans by this bloated and unnecessary health care law.

Precedents have been overturned before. We should all hope this case arrives at the Supreme Court, to be used to overturn earlier commerce clause cases which violated the Constitution's meaning and intent. Then, again, it's going to be a swing vote situation, so don't hold your breath this time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome To The New Soviet Union: The Socialist Republic of the United States

In response to an email I sent to a colleague recently which included an attachment of Ruth Marcus' Washington Post article concerning Charlie Rangel's and Maxine Waters' ethics charges, he replied,

"There’s no doubt that we have a institutional political class that prominently includes all members of Congress, publicly corrupt or otherwise, which is an elite and self-sustaining parasite not unlike the respective senior Communist party committees that so successfully control the peoples of Russia and China."

I agree, but it's far worse than just that.

In the old Soviet Union, selected groups were given perks and better treatment, e.g., better healthcare, living quarters, more compensation, cars, access to food stores stocked with better selections, and so on.

Now, in America, municipal and certain private-industry unions, such as those for teachers, firemen and policemen, and the UAW, receive special favors and treatment. Sometimes totally in violation of existing law.

For example, lawfully protected GM bondholders were summarily coerced into silenced and forced to surrender their senior position by the federal government, so that the UAW could be given a share of the reorganized firm's assets.

Despite clear language in the Constitution that laws must apply to all citizens, just last week Congress passed, at the administration's insistence, a special stimulus bill to fund teacher salaries in the states, mandating no cuts in state funding, and the requirement that such funding must rise in future years.

Yes, like the Soviet Union of old, it's clear that in Wonderboy's Socialist United States, special union membership gets you perks and claims on the federal Treasury.

But if you educated yourself into a management position, or work as a blue-collar laborer in a right-to-work state, tough luck. You don't get to be one of Wonderboy's favorite classes, and have to pay higher taxes for those who are.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Charges Against Rangel

If you aren't sufficiently sick from reading about Maxine Waters' ethics problems, consider the affront that Charlie Rangel's birthday bash was to voters and taxpayers everywhere.

Rangel was heard to remark that it was hardly funereal or a wake. Well, time will tell.

But it was surely sad and disappointing to see the state's two Senators show up and fete such a corrupt House member.

You might be tempted to believe, like Rangel does, that he will be exonerated of the charges against hime. Ruth Marcus wrote this in the Washington Post recently,

"In Rangel's defense, his conduct appears less directly self-serving than Waters's. But to read the lengthy ethics report is to wonder how Rangel has refused to cop a plea -- especially when the recommended punishment took the relatively mild form of a reprimand.

Rangel failed to pay taxes on rental income from his Caribbean villa. He neglected to report $600,000 in income on his financial disclosure forms. He hit up companies with business before the Ways and Means Committee for donations as high as $30 million to the Rangel Center -- improperly using official letterhead and directly soliciting corporate lobbyists."

I posted this passage because, when reading it, I was alarmed at how truly corrupt Rangel became. How financially large his transgressions actually are.

Can you imagine getting away with the tax evasion Rangel practiced? I can't.

Does he really believe it will all be casually swept away and he'll be free to return to the House? Incredible.

Monday, August 16, 2010

....And Maxine Waters Is Ethically Challenged, Too

With all the recent attention on corrupt Charlie Rangel, California's differently, but equally corrupt Democratic Representative, Maxine Waters' behavior has almost gone unnoticed.

Here's a passage from a recent Washington Post column,

"Which gets to my favorite part of the ethics report on Waters. Fast-forward a few months after Rangel's meeting with AIG, to the first weeks of September 2008. This was, to put it mildly, a rather busy time for then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. The economy was tanking. Lehman Brothers was about to go down. But when a senior member of the Financial Services Committee calls, the Treasury secretary tends to listen.

Waters said she had "some people in town who were important to her," Paulson recalled, and asked for a meeting with Treasury officials to discuss their concerns.

How important to her? As Waters told the Office of Congressional Ethics, which conducted the preliminary investigation of her activities, "You don't use your chits for nothing. You call when there is an important issue."

The issue broadly involved the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and its impact on minority-owned banks. But when Paulson's aides got to the meeting, they discovered that all but one of the banking industry participants were from one such institution: OneUnited.

On whose board Waters's husband had served until a few months earlier. In which he continued to have investments worth $500,000 to $1 million. A fact Waters somehow neglected to mention to Paulson -- although she was most certainly aware of it. As the report notes, Waters mentioned to Congressman A -- better known as Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank -- that "Sydney's been on the board." Frank twice advised Waters to "stay out of it."

The obvious question is: What is wrong with these people? The tempting answer: They're members of Congress."

You know someone is dense and stupid when even Barney Frank knows better than they do. Look at Waters' attitude- her "chits" are only for important usages. Hey, how about forgetting your own personal, corrupt uses of your legislative position, and think about the voters who sent you there?

Hopefully, the idiotic Waters will have the book thrown at her. But, with a liberal Democratic House majority, and a fellow Californian as Speaker, don't hold your breath. And one doubts even Waters' constituents have the sense or backbone to throw her out.