Open thread


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Personal Message To Mark

    I hope you enjoyed my vacation while it lasted, fascist traitor, because it just ended. I’m back!

  2. 2

    HappyHeathen spews:

    Every American should have to watch this. Just not for the Palin question but because it speaks to how politics really works. Manipulate at every cost. McCain made a calculated mistake on this and if you think last week was bad for him…..well, this week is even going to be worse.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “I’ll Get Back To You”

    That was Sarah Palin’s answer to a question asked by Katie Couric. In the 1992 vice presidential debate, Ross Perot’s running mate, James Stockdale, responded to a question with, “I’m out of ammo on that.” The effect was devastating — when you’re running for Vice President of the United States you can’t say, “I don’t know.” But that’s exactly what Palin did in the Couric interview. And everyone who watchied that interview must now be thinking, “Who is this woman? Why is she here?”

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Now that Quitter McQain has left the race, Republicans are at a loss who to vote for. Rumor has it that GOP operatives will tell their party’s voters to write in Hillary Clinton.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Did all of you see that news story over the weekend that Maverick McCain’s campaign is being run lock, stock, and barrel by Bush insiders?

    “When Gov. Sarah Palin flew home to Alaska for the first time since being named the Republican vice presidential nominee, … [she] was surrounded … by operatives deeply rooted in the Bush administration.

    “The clutch of Bush veterans helping to coach Palin reflects a larger reality about Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign: Far from being a group of outsiders to the Republican Party power structure, it is now run largely by skilled operatives who learned their crafts in successive Bush campaigns and various jobs across the Bush government over the past eight years. …

    “The personnel shift has become a cause of distress for some Republicans, who had hoped for a new brand of Republicanism to take hold, fueled by players who had experience outside Washington. ‘It’s insane … that at the same time that it’s … saying it’s not going to be the Bush administration, this campaign looks like the Bush campaign on steroids,’ said one Republican strategist.”

    (Quoted from Washington Post under fair use.)

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Can anyone explain why knowing how to field dress a moose is relevant to the job of vice president? I mean, just because a grizzly bear knows how to field dress a human doesn’t mean it should be in charge of the U.S. Senate …

  7. 7

    SeattleJew spews:

    What is a Zerhouni?

    As many of you know I have a deep personal interest in the UW. (I am a prof in the med school.) I hope you also know that “we” are one of the largest employers in the State and, as the nidus for biotech, critical to Gregoire and even Rossi’s plans for the states’ future.

    What you may not know is that the UW school of medicine is either the largest public recipient of NIH funding or very close to being number 1.
    Commitments based on that funding underlie a large part of SLU. That funding may be in great trouble if the news today means what I think it does.

    The news is news about Zerhouni. What is a Zerhouni? He is the Director of the NiH under GWB.

    Zerhouni’s position has laways been very difficult. Not many of us trust the Bushies and the relationship has been made much worse by Luddite religiosity applied to stem cell research and censorship of NIH reports to the public on issues related to global warming, healthcare, HIV, etc. Zerhouni has to have an iron gut for surving 6 years.

    Today Zerhouni announced his intent to resign in October. Amidst the fusillades of misdirection coming our of Camp McCain today I suspect few of you noticed. Why October? I suspect Z has been told what the NIH budget proposal to Congress will be in November and does not want to be a Pinyatta for an outraged scientific community that already mistrusts him.

    The usual way NIH’s budget is created involves OMB putting together a bare bones proposal which then gets added to by members of Congress sympathetic ot medical research. This happens with the Director working with these Congressman under the tacit approval of the President.

    NOT THIS YEAR! No Director means successful lobbying will be very difficult.I suspect that the lame duck Congress is going to receive a budget with an overall cut from 08 dollars. Most of this will (have to be) in discretionary expenditures and probably will not include defunding our efforts to bring peace, justice and Coca Cola to Iraq, Afghanistan and Venezuela. What is left? relatively small programs like the NIH.

    The NIH is already rocky from previous Bush cuts in the form of flat funding w/o inflation. UWSM, while still at #1 or 2, has been experiencing a steady decline in its funding from the NIH. If I am right, this year the cut will be real, perhaps 5% and that may well be enough to stop ALL new grants!

    My personal problems aside, a cut of this size cold endanger the SLU campus and certainly will do major harm to the Hutch as well.

  8. 8

    busdrivermike spews:

    Let’s see. When they sold a war to the American people, they were big on Nationalism. Now that Wall Street is in the toilet, they are Socialists.

    Nationalists…Socialist. A Nationalist Socialist Party.

    Has Bush grown a funny moustache lately?

    Well, off to work I go to support the private jet owning Nationalist socialist welfare kings of Wall Street.

  9. 11


    The reason McCain didn’t appear on his show is because he didn’t think it was appropriate to go on a comedy show during this financial crisis.

    I’m glad McCain lied to Letterman about the reason he couldn’t come on the show. Letterman doesn’t deserve the truth. I have more respect now for McCain since he fucked-over Letterman.

  10. 12

    Ekim spews:

    Gee Troll,

    You’ve now acknoledged that McSame is a flat out liar and that you think this is a good thing to be. Sure you want to go there? Oh I forget, you highly value lying at every opportunity even when telling the truth would serve you better.

  11. 13


    Which a bigger lie? Lying to a late night talk host about why you can’t appear on his show, or lying about what religion you inwardly serve?

  12. 14

    Ekim spews:

    Hey John, I have a question. Do you need a ride to the airport?

    This sounds like a great bumper sticker to me.

  13. 15

    Ekim spews:

    Troll @13

    Are you saying that Sarah isn’t telling the truth about her religion? Is she a witch pretending to be a evangelical christian or something? This is news to me. Thanks for the insight.

  14. 16

    Blue John spews:

    I caught some of a right wing radio call in show on the way home. We are living in a parallel world with the ultra conservatives.
    mccain was was not ducking the debate, mccain was showing leadership by helping solving the financial crisis.
    Obama was not a thoughtful statesman, he was a feminized man who wouldn’t take action.
    mccain was not scrambly and impulsive, he was a decisive real man with strong leadership qualities.
    How do you have a dialog with that mind set?
    Black is white, up is down, air is cheese with them. The things progressives value are dismissed by the conservatives and vice versa. I don’t think we have anything in common.

  15. 17

    Rujax! spews:

    So Dumbshit…

    mcshame WAS NOT in Washington DC yesterday. He was taping with Katie Couric during the Letterman taping…LIE #1.

    mcshame was not in Washington DC yesterday evening…he was giving a speech at the Clinton Global Institute…LIE #2.

    the “bailout” deal was getting done by cooler heads and WITHOUT the “help” of the jackass (and serial liar) who was a proximate cause of the crisis.

    I suppose you could make more stupid, ill informed comments but I don’t quite see how.

  16. 18


    Troll, are you seriously dragging out that disproven canard about Senator Obama being a secret Muslim?

    Working the bottom of that barrel pretty hard, aren’t you?

    On the Letterman bit. It was pretty funny, and it would be interesting to check on which program gets more viewers. Letterman vs. Couric. My money’s on Letterman, even though Couric is prettier and on earlier.

    But what wasn’t said is just as important. Don’t we want a President that can handle more than one thing at a time? (Ok, Senator McCain. One more try. Step, chew, step, chew. Oops. Somebody help the Senator up again, and make sure he hasn’t swallowed his gum.)

  17. 19

    rhp6033 spews:

    “We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself.”

    — Republican Party platform, 2008

    In case you missed it, that platform was adopted by the Republicans about three weeks ago.

    The fundamental problems in the American economy are the same as they were then. The only difference is that instead of shit just happening to the average American, it was happening to the titans of Wall Street.

    Now, suddenly, we have a crisis which demands the biggest expenditure of money borrowed fromr future U.S. taxpayers since WWII????? The average homeowner can’t refinance a mortgage because real estate values and the economy are tanking, but Wall Street takes an 8% dive in a week, and suddenly it’s a crisis of epic proportions? An individual homeowner is expected to lose his house in order to preserve principles of “indidual responsiblity”, but Wall Street titans find their stock options underwater, and it’s the biggest crisis facing the U.S. since the Civil War?

  18. 20

    Rujax! spews:

    Here’s former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards:

    “Oh, brother. What idiot came up with this stunt?

    It ranks somewhere on the stupidity scale between plain silly and numbingly desperate. McCain and Obama are both members of the Senate and they’re both able to help craft a solution if they wish to do so without putting the presidential campaign on hold; after all, I’m sure congressional leaders would be willing to accept their calls if they have some important insights to impart. And while one of them will eventually become president, neither one is president yet, nor is either one a member of the congressional leadership; I’m confident that somehow the administration and the other 533 members of congress will be able to muddle through without tapping into the superior wisdom and intellect of their nominees. Sorry, John; it really sounds like you’re afraid to debate. This sounds like the sort of ploy we used to use in junior high school elections.”

    h/t to (the really great) T-Bogg

  19. 21

    michael spews:

    But what wasn’t said is just as important. Don’t we want a President that can handle more than one thing at a time?

    Actually, Obama addressed that.

  20. 22

    Puddybud spews:

    Wow Steve SeattleJew, my stepbrother is a cardiologist at NIH. He liked Zerhouni because of his crackdown on researchers who were double dealing as board members on drug companies boards; something allowed under Clinton.

    Hmmm… And I thought Donkey hated the big bad drug companies…

  21. 23

    Puddybud spews:


    Who is Henry Paulsen? Hmmm… as I remember he’s a protoge of Robert Rubin. Both from Goldman Sachs – you know that Donkey campaign cash well.

    Well even Puddy does forget now and then. But Puddy went back and did a little research on Henry Paulsen.

    Do you remember Eric Mindich? Google “eric mindich goldman sachs”

    He’s a former colleague of Paulson and Rubin at Goldman Sachs. Kind of ironic to learn Eric Mindich is a top-level Donkey fundraiser. He is the head of the of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets Asset Managers’ Committee.

    Butt, there’s more. Sen. John Effin Kerry, the French Candidate’s, 2004 erection campaign had Eric Mindich in the inner economic circle. Eric Mindich supports Obama in 2008.

    So why did Bush allow a Donkey investment activist to be on the team? Wasn’t he charged to develop the “best practices” or SOP for asset managers? Well we now see the result huh?

    Now some of you will say but Paulsen gave to Bush. Right…, and you can view one of the sites I post here and see he gave to Clinton, Bradley, Emily’s list, and good ol Little Chucky Schumer the dahhhhhhhhhhling senator of Wall Street. His wife is a big time hillary Clinton giver…

    Nuff SAID!

  22. 24

    Puddybud spews:

    Butt, there’s more rhp6033

    Under Secretary Robert K. Steel, Paulsen’s right hand man…

    Well he’s also from Goldman Sachs, the Donkey money laundering outfit…

    Well when you evaluate Robert Steel’s contributions damn, little Chucky Schumer appears again.

    Then when you dig deeper about Robert Steel, he is the chairman of Duke University’s Board of Trustees. Wasn’t it the Board of Trustees who were for the firing of the Duke University lacrosse coach and the pilloring of the three INNOCENT lacrosse players? Hmmm…? And we can see he contributed to the North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDC), Dan Blue and Erskine Bowles. You know Erskine Bowles right rhp6033? Come on… you shouldn’t need to google him too…

  23. 25


    Letterman stopped being cutting edge, or even funny, long ago. He’s a predictable partisan hack. What will be funny is when his heart finally gives out for good.

    Someone high five me!

  24. 26

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy’s really off his meds, trying to link the current failures of the Republican administration to Democrats. Today’s he’s trying to make Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs into a tool of the Democratic party.

    Talk about a laughable premise!!!! Let’s review quickly a list of the more prominant alumni from Goldman Sachs:

    Jushua Bolton, current White House Chief of Staff

    George H. Walker IV, a member of the Bush family, who went from Goldman Sachs to Lehman Bros.!

    And let us not forget….

    Henry Paulson, the current U.S. Secty of the Treasury under the Bush administration!!!!!!

    (game, set, match).

  25. 27

    Puddybud spews:

    Sorry Troll but Puddybud doesn’t condone what you said in #25. I once came close for bybygoober.

    I wonder if Goldy finally banned his sorry ass?

  26. 28

    Puddybud spews:

    rhp6033: Did you do your homework?

    Nope you Dope. Why? You could see it for yourself…

    Multiple Grand Slam Winner!

  27. 31

    rhp6033 spews:

    Now, let’s look at what the former Goldman Sachs CEO and and current Treasury Secty Paulson has had to say about the economy since he was appointed in 2006:

    In August 2007, Secretary Paulson explained that U.S. subprime mortgage fallout remained largely contained due to the strongest global economy in decades.

    On July 20, 2008, after the failure of Indymac Bank, Paulson reassured the public by saying, “it’s a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation.”

    On August 10, 2008, Secretary Paulson told NBC’s Meet the Press that he had no plans to inject any capital into Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.[24] On September 7, 2008, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into conservatorship.

  28. 32

    Puddybud spews:

    What I said rhp6033 is both parties are complicit. I haven’t heard that from you at all.

    Tsk tsk tsk!

  29. 33


    I don’t care if I’m banned. I’ve been blocked from other blogs. It’s no big deal. I expect it, eventually.

    People who spew hate and intolerance want to do so without opposition.

  30. 34

    rhp6033 spews:


    No, I just don’t follow your rather obvious attempts to deflect attention from the Republican responsibility for this crisis, and the rather atrocious plan they have for solving it.

    We all know that Wall Street firms give contributions to both political parties, and sometimes they give more to one than to another. It’s like a hedge fund – they bet both sides of the race to guarantee access, but tilt their bet in favor of the party they expect to be in office after the next elections.

    This hardly compares with the Republican incompetence in oversight of financial markets.

    But he, thanks again for playing!!!!!

  31. 35

    Puddybud spews:

    rhp6033 more remedial help. Damn man, I was beginning to think you had a brain…

    Goldman Sachs $691,930
    JPMorgan Chase & Co $442,919
    UBS AG $404,750
    Lehman Brothers $370,524
    Sidley Austin LLP $350,302 $347,463 – included because they are morons!
    Morgan Stanley $318,070

  32. 36

    rhp6033 spews:

    “What I’ve said is that both parties are complicit”.

    That’s the old Republican standby, when they get caught in a situation they can’t talk their way out of. And in this case, it completely ignores the overwhelming magnitude of the Republican contribution to this crisis.

  33. 39

    John spews:

    Posted on the wrong thread…

    The biggest crises in our financial history.
    Obama said yesterday if you need me call me.
    Wow! This is leadership now we know why he votes present.
    It’s more important to have a debate than to help America.
    Then he said today hold on wait for me I’m coming to Washington DC.
    I’m sorry for the rude remarks I made about Senator McCain yesterday.

    Mean while Bill Clinton is ripping Obama and the Democrat party for causing this financial mess during to the Democrat failures for voting NO on Freddie and Fannie.

  34. 40

    Puddybud spews:

    I know you missed it rhp6033 but this morning Bill Clinton told ABC’s Chris Cuomo:

    “A little surprising for you to hear the Democrats saying, “This came out of nowhere, this is all about the Republicans. We had nothing to do with this.” Nancy Pelosi saying it. She signed the ’99 Gramm Bill. She knew what was going on with the SEC. They’re all sophisticated people. Is that playing politics in this situation?” – Chris Cuomo

    “Well, maybe everybody does that a little bit. I think the responsibility the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” – Bill Clinton

    Four Grand Slam Sweep!

    The Prosecution Rests

  35. 41

    Puddybud spews:

    Gee rhp6033 as I was told Bill Clinton is a smart man. He “single handedly” created the balanced budget.

    As I told you before back in 2005, the Senate Banking Committee Chairman Republican Richard Shelby tried to rein in Freddie and Fannie by creating some strong new regulations. These new regulations would have prevented Fannie and Freddie from acquiring these bad mortgages. These new regulations would have gaven a new regulator for Fannie and Freddie the standard kinds of power that a bank regulator had.

    Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan (Mr Andrea Mitchell – NBC Bews) issued a bleak, stark, direct warning to senators that Fannie and Freddie were playing with fire.

    Alan Greenspan said without these proposed stronger regulations, “We increase the possibility of insolvency and crisis. Without restrictions on the size of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we put at risk our ability to preserve safe and sound financial markets in the United States.”

    Butt guess what rhp6033 after Greenspan siad that above, all the Republicans voted for it. All the Democrats, including the current chairman, Senator Chris Dodd, voted against it. Guess what little Chucky Schumer voted? And then the Donkey demogogued the issue on national news outlets. So it died.

  36. 42

    rhp6033 spews:

    Apprantly Puddy thinks lack of willingness to go off onto an irrelevant tangent (led in that direction by Puddy) equals lack of intelligence. Sorry, Puddy, but I’m smarter than that, by far.

    The acid test, of course, is who is protecting Wall Street now, and who is looking out for the American public. The Bush administration has insisted that the rescue package can’t contain anything which prevents Wall Street executives from taking huge bonuses or profiting from stock options based upon this deal, the Democrats have insisted otherwise since last Monday. (As of last night looks like the Republicans might cave on this issue, since they saw the polling numbers yesterday).

    Of course, by tomorrow Puddy, McCain, and Bush will all be trying to take credit for those restrictions, but what’s a little revisionist history among Republicans?

  37. 43

    Puddybud spews:

    rhp6033: You and others claim I am spouting off the RNC line.

    No, I am accurately placing history up for review. You and other HA useless lefties don’t want to review what has happened and why. I am pissed the Republicans didn’t use the liberal MSM against the Donkey for tougher banking regulations. Now that Bill Clinton admitted what I am saying about history is correct, I’ll wait for you to correct Bill Clinton.

  38. 44

    Puddybud spews:

    rhp6033: where have I supported large golden parachutes.



    Date and Time

    And rhp6033, since you can’t see anything except through your blue colored glasses. I guess we’re through on this conversation.

    I will continue to correct you on your “impersonations” of the truth!

  39. 45

    Puddybud spews:

    And rhp6033: I don’t agree with the bailout as written. I don’t agree with all the pork added to it either by both sides.

    So much for locked step marching huh?

  40. 47

    John spews:

    The truth is all over the web. You read then chew then spit out on this site what you want it to say.

    McCain Puts Country First, Obama Says: Call me if you need me
    September 24, 2008 by texasdarlin
    John McCain put his campaign on hold today, and called on Barack Obama to join him in Washington, DC in a bi-partisan effort to address the country’s economic crisis. McCain also proposed re-scheduling Friday’s debate and suspending campaign commercials.
    Barack Obama responded by a) attempting to take credit for McCain’s idea, b) attempting to take credit for McCain’s economic proposals, c) accusing McCain of playing political tricks, d) refusing to cancel Friday’s debate, and e) essentially telling America: I’m going to keep campaigning and I’m not going to Washington to address the financial crisis. Call me if you need me!

  41. 48

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy’s back again trying to sell the argument that back in 2005 the Republicans were trying to reform the mortgage market but were blocked by the big, bad Democrats.

    Of course, this avoids the obvious Problem that in 2005, the Republicans had control of all three branches of government, and could do whatever they really wanted to do.

    But aside from that is that he is continually and willfully attempting to mischaracterize the nature of the “reforms” attempted in 2005. What the White House wanted to do was to have Congress repeal the Community Redevelopment Act, which since 1977 has prohibited banks from “redlining” minority communities, and requires them to offer loans to miniority neighborhoods to the same extent they offer to non-minority communities.

    Now the Republicans have tried to pass this off as the cause of the current crisis, hoping also to appeal to racial prejudices by having middle-America blame racial minorities for the problem.

    But as the Republicans know, the CRA had nothing to do with the current crisis. For one thing, it only governed banks, not the mortage firms which had the overwhelming majority of sub-prime loans. Secondly, the CRA has worked since 1977 with no increase in bad loans under it’s programs than with loans in general. Finally, and most importantly, the CRA program was only a small part of a larger Bush de-regulation plan to pretty much REMOVE all regulation from the banking industry – not regulate it more, as Puddy is trying to proclaim.

    Again, nice try at deflecting blame, Puddy. Obviously, Karl Rove’s office is continuing to work late into the night to keep the right-wing talk radio and websights supplied with this utterly misleading nonsense.

    But the American people aren’t buying it this week.

  42. 49


    Comment Readers and Posters (or CRAP), ask yourself this question today when Goldy is busy posting anti-McCain and Palin pieces: What isn’t he posting about? What is going on today, right here in Seattle, that he is trying to take our attention away from?

    Democratic Mayor of Seattle Greg Nickels is declaring war on the homeless by sending police stormtroopers down to destroy their homes!

  43. 50

    Puddybud spews:

    Let’s see it time to correct rhp6033’s history impersonations.

    Well if I am to employ the insane rhp6033 argument of having control of congress, then with Donkey having control of congress from 2007 onward why haven’t they gotten anything done rhp6033?

    The CRA had everything to do with this crisis. “Another ACORN campaign exploits the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA), which requires banks to practice neighborhood-based affirmative action in dispensing loans. In order to avoid federal civil rights charges, banks must issue a certain quota of loans in high-risk, low-income minority neighborhoods. ACORN intimidates targeted banks by accusing them of violating the CRA, and then dispatching multiracial crowds to picket their offices, charging the banks with “racism.” Fearful of bad press and federal regulators, most banks will agree to appoint ACORN as their official advisor on CRA compliance – giving the group enormous power to channel loans to hand-picked recipients.”

    rhp6033 – just ignorant of the facts!


    Written before this crisis.

  44. 51

    Puddybud spews:

    Of course rhp6033 wont read it anyway:

    “The Senate Banking Committee has estimated that, as a result of CRA, $9.5 billion so far has gone to pay for services and salaries of the nonprofit groups involved. ”

    Who are these groups ACORN, NACA, NCRC…

    “Timely comments,” the NCRC observed with a certain understatement, “can have a strong influence on a bank’s CRA rating.”

    “The Trillion-Dollar Bank Shakedown That Bodes Ill for Cities” – written the winter of 2000.

    Sorry rhp6033, your historical impersonations are like a sieve, draining water quickly.

  45. 52

    My Left Foot spews:


    As the founding, and only, member of CRAP Mr. Troll, how long did it take you come up with that acronym? I am guessing two or three weeks, with chalkboard and your Kool-Aid.

    A larger moe-ron does not exist on this board. No wonder your wife left you.

  46. 53

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy’s still trying to peddle that “those nasty Democrats made me make bad loans to those evil minority communities” crisis. Boo, Hoo.

    If Puddy bothered check out the neighborhoods were foreclosures are taking place, you would notice that the ones hit hardest are in middle-class to upper-middle class communities, not CRA neighborhoods.

    But hey, thanks again for playing.

  47. 54

    rhp6033 spews:

    But hey, Puddy, I haven’t got all day to argue with you. I’m trying to export some American-made goods overseas today. You know, productive work which adds to the bottom line of the American economy. So we’ll have to get back to this again at some other time.

  48. 55

    Puddybud spews:

    rhp6033: And why are those “middle & upper middle” class foreclosures happening rhp6033.

    Maybe just maybe poorer people tried to move up and they couldn’t afford it? Hmmm…?

    Simplistic views deserve simplistic answers!

  49. 56

    Truth spews:

    Media Mum on Barney Frank’s Fannie Mae Love Connection
    Democratic House Financial Services Committee Chair promoted GSEs while former ‘spouse’ was Fannie Mae executive.

    By Jeff Poor
    Business & Media Institute
    9/24/2008 4:00:57 PM

    Are journalists playing favorites with some of the key political figures involved with regulatory oversight of U.S. financial markets?

    MSNBC’s Chris Matthews launched several vitriolic attacks on the Republican Party on his Sept. 17, 2008, show, suggesting blame for Wall Street problems should be focused in a partisan way. However, he and other media have failed to thoroughly examine the Democratic side of the blame game.

    Prominent Democrats ran Fannie Mae, the same government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that donated campaign cash to top Democrats. And one of Fannie Mae’s main defenders in the House – Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., a recipient of more than $40,000 in campaign donations from Fannie since 1989 – was once romantically involved with a Fannie Mae executive.

    The media coverage of Frank’s coziness with Fannie Mae and his pro-Fannie Mae stances has been lacking. Of the eight appearances Frank made on the three broadcasts networks between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sept. 21, 2008, none of his comments dealt with the potential conflicts of interest. Only six of the appearances dealt with the economy in general and two of those appearances, including an April 6, 2008 appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes” were about his opposition to a manned mission to Mars.

    Frank has argued that family life “should be fair game for campaign discussion,” wrote the Associated Press on Sept. 2. The comment was in reference to GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter. “They’re the ones that made an issue of her family,” the Massachusetts Democrat said to the AP.

    The news media have covered the relationship in the past, but there have been no mentions since 2005, according to Nexis and despite the collapse of Fannie Mae. The July 3, 1998, Reliable Source column in The Washington Post reported Frank, who is openly gay, had a relationship with Herb Moses, an executive for the now-government controlled Fannie Mae. The column revealed the two had split up at the time but also said Frank was referring to Moses as his “spouse.” Another Washington Post report said Frank called Moses his “lover” and that the two were “still friends” after the breakup.

    Frank was and remains a stalwart defender of Fannie Mae, which is now under FBI investigation along with its sister organization Freddie Mac, American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) and Lehman Brothers (NYSE:LEH) – all recently participants in government bailouts. But Frank has derailed efforts to regulate the institution, as well as denying it posed any financial risk. Frank’s office has been unresponsive to efforts by the Business & Media Institute to comment on these potential conflicts of interest.

    While the relationship reportedly ended 10 years ago, Frank was serving on the House Banking Committee the entire 10 years they were together. The committee is the primary House body which along with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has jurisdiction over the government-sponsored enterprises.

    He has served on the committee since becoming a congressman in 1981 and became the ranking Democrat on the committee in 2003. He became chairman of the committee, now called the House Financial Services Committee, in 2007.

    Moses was the assistant director for product initiatives at Fannie Mae and had been at the forefront of relaxing lending restrictions at the company for rural customers, according to the Feb. 23, 1998, issue of National Mortgage News (NMN).

    “Herb Moses, who helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs, has left the mortgage industry,” Darryl Hicks wrote for NMN. “Mr. Moses – whose last day was Feb. 13 – spent the past seven years at Fannie Mae, most recently as director of housing initiatives. Over the course of time, he played an instrumental role in developing the company’s Title One and 203(k) home improvement lending programs.”

    Hicks explained in his story how Moses orchestrated a collaborative effort between Fannie Mae and the Department of Agriculture.

    “The Dartmouth grad also played a crucial role in brokering a relationship between Fannie Mae and the Department of Agriculture,” Hicks wrote. “This led to the creation of Fannie Mae’s rural housing program where the secondary marketing agency agreed to purchase small farm loans insured through the department.”

    While Moses served at Fannie Mae and was Frank’s partner, Frank was actively working to support GSEs, according to several news outlets.

    In 1991, Frank and former Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., lobbied for Fannie to soften rules on multi-family home mortgages although those dwellings showed a default rate twice that of single-family homes, according to the Nov. 22, 1991, Boston Globe.

    BusinessWeek reported in its Nov. 14, 1994, issue that Fannie Mae called on Frank to exert his influence against a Housing & Urban Development proposal that would force the GSE to focus on minority and low-income buyers and police bias by lenders regardless of their location. Fannie Mae opposed HUD on the issue because it claimed doing so would “ignore the urban middle class.”

    Moses left Fannie in 1998 to start his own pottery business. National Mortgage News called Moses a “mortgage guru” and said he developed “many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs. Moses ended his relationship with Frank just months after he left Fannie.

    Even after the relationship ended, however, Frank was a staunch defender of Fannie Mae even as other experts suggested there were serious problems building in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    According to an article by Kathleen Day in the Oct. 8, 2003, Washington Post, Frank opposed giving the Bush administration the right to approve or disapprove business activities that “could pose risk to the taxpayers.” He told the Post he worried the Treasury Department “would sacrifice activities that are good for consumers in the name of lowering the companies’ market risks.”

    Just a month before, Frank had aggressively thwarted reform efforts by the Bush administration. He told The New York Times on Sept. 11, 2003, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s problems were “exaggerated,” a gross miscalculation some five years later with costs estimated to be in the hundreds of billions.

    “These two entities – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” Frank said to the Times. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

    Frank has also reaped campaign contribution benefits from Fannie Mae and its counterpart Freddie Mac. According a front page story in the Sept. 19, 2008, Investor’s Business Daily by Terry Jones, Frank has received $40,100 in campaign cash over the past two decades from the GSEs.

    Frank is ranked 16th on a list that includes both houses of Congress and fifth among his colleagues in the House. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics’, political action committees financed by both Freddie and Fannie have contributed $3,017,797 to members of Congress since 1989. And according to the July 16 issue of Politico, the two entities have spent a whopping $200 million to buy influence – including not only campaign donations to members of Congress, but also presidential campaigns and lobbying efforts.

    In a July 23 op-ed, Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot put the blame for the GSEs’ collapse firmly on the members of the liberal establishment who took money from Freddie and Fannie. “Fan and Fred also couldn’t prosper for as long as they have without the support of the political left… This includes Mr. Frank and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Capitol Hill, as well as Mr. [Paul] Krugman and the Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein in the press.”

    Frank was asked by CNN’s John Roberts on the Sept. 22, 2008 “American Morning” about this and his opposition to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Originally, he claimed he didn’t think the two GSEs were facing any problems when the issue first surfaced in 2003. He instead blamed the Republican-controlled Congress for their ultimate fall, failing to mention his friendly relationship with Fannie Mae and the contributions it had made to his campaign over the years.

    “Yes, I did not think we were facing a crisis in 2003, but that didn’t mean we didn’t have to have reform,” an animated Frank said when confronted with the question. “Here’s the deal, the Republicans controlled Congress from 1995 through 2006. They did zero to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

    However, on Sept. 17, 2008, former Bush administration Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove elaborated on the Bush administration’s efforts to curb abuses at the two GSEs in 2003. He told Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” that Frank was among the most aggressive opponents of White House attempts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    “All of this bad stuff on Wall Street happened because people got greedy and the greed started at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Rove said. “And I know this because five years ago, the administration was alerted by the regulator, James Lockhart, that there was insufficient authority and that these institutions – particularly Fannie – were out of control.”

    Rove said the Bush administration’s efforts to reform Fannie and Freddie were opposed by congressional Democrats – specifically Frank and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.

    “And I got to tell you, for five years, I was part of an effort at the White House to fight this and our biggest opponents on the Hill who blocked this every step of the way were people like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. And Fannie and Freddie are the $200 billion contagion at the center of this.”

    Frank has been quick to blame deregulation for some of the problems in the financial environment, as he did on Bloomberg television’s Sept. 19 “Political Capital with Al Hunt.” However, as earmark crusader Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. pointed out – it’s not deregulation, but it was the structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that had been guarded by Frank and other members of Congress.

    “Some people point at deregulation,” Flake said to the Business & Media Institute on Sept. 23. “It’s not deregulation at all. We have for far too long shielded Fannie and Freddie for example, with the implicit and now explicit guarantee. I just found it humorous.”

    Flake specifically named Frank as one of the members behind letting allegations of transgressions at the two GSEs for slipping by without oversight from Congress.

    “Just a few minutes ago, a reporter was asking me about this and saying, ‘Barney Frank is saying that’s just – because there were allegations,’ correct ones – ‘that Fannie and Freddie have been the playground for politicians for years and now the other side is saying Fannie and Freddie were just a small part of this and this goes far beyond.’ It does, but these same people a couple of weeks ago said, ‘You got to bail out Fannie and Freddie because they touch everything out there. They touch nearly every mortgage out there.’ And because of that explicit guarantee – that we would come and bail them out, nobody has been subject to market discipline.”

    Frank claims differently, according to a letter to the editor published in the Sept. 17, 2008 Wall Street Journal. Frank noted that in 2005 he supported regulating compensation for Fannie and Freddie executives.

    “In fact, my reform efforts had begun when we were still in the minority. In 2005, I joined Michael Oxley, then chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, in supporting legislation to increase the regulation of Fannie and Freddie that passed the House by a vote of 330 to 90,” Frank wrote. “When former Congressman Richard Baker proposed to examine the compensation structure of Fannie and Freddie’s top executives, and some members of Congress tried to block him, I explicitly spoke out in support of his right to do that and our right, as a Congress, to examine the GSE’s compensation practices.”

    The red flags were raised long before the government bailed out the two GSEs in August 2008. The first egregious scandal involving Fannie Mae occurred in 2004. A 2004 Wall Street Journal editorial was first to point out claims in an OFHEO report that showed accounting malpractices by the GSE.

    “For years, mortgage giant Fannie Mae has produced smoothly growing earnings. And for years, observers have wondered how Fannie could manage its inherently risky portfolio without a whiff of volatility, the Oct. 4, 2004, editorial, “Fannie Mae Enron?” said. “Now, thanks to Fannie’s regulator, we know the answer. The company was cooking the books. Big time.”

    See Related Sidebar: Networks, Once Silent on Fannie Mae, Blame Capitalism for Debacle

  50. 57

    Puddybud spews:

    Here is why Donkey are morons.

    “The Iraqi government was poised to sign no-bid contracts with those firms this summer to help make immediate and needed improvements in Iraq’s oil infrastructure. The result would have been significant foreign investment in Iraq, an expansion of Iraqi government revenues, and an increase in the global supply of oil. One would have thought that leading Democratic senators who claim to be interested in finding other sources of funding to replace American dollars in Iraq, in helping Iraq spend its own money on its own people –” didn’t Obama say this in his stupid ad, “–would have been all been for that.” Why shouldn’t we allow western or domestic oil companies get the first contracts on Iraqi oil?

    “Instead, Senators Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, and Claire McCaskill wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rice asking her “to persuade the GOI [Government of Iraq] to refrain from signing contracts with multinational oil companies until a hydrocarbon law is in effect in Iraq.” The Bush administration wisely refused to do so, but the resulting media hooraw in Iraq led to the cancellation of the contracts, and helps to explain why Iraq is doing oil deals instead with China. … Either way, like Barack Obama’s asking the Iraqi foreign minister to hold off on a strategic framework agreement until after the American election, it was nothing but harmful to American interests and our prospects in Iraq,” for these three senators to scrub the original Iraqi oil deal with ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, and BP.

    Do you remember hearing about this Moonbat!s? Now we know why the first Iraqi oil deal was with the ChiComs. But you know the libtards!

    I had no idea these three Donkey senators wrote SoS Rice and said don’t allow the oil companies to deal without having a hydrocarbon law. So again, Little Chuck Schumer, John Effin Kerry, Claire McCaskill wrote a letter to Rice asking her to persuade the government of Iraq to refrain from signing contracts with multinational oil companies until a hydrocarbon law is in effect in Iraq.

    What a crock…

  51. 58

    John spews:

    This is really blather. The evidence is clear that both parties had a big hand in the mess.

    Bill Clinton on the role of fellow Democrats in the Fannie/Freddie debacle:

    Subprime Obama, The Nation, January 2008 (liberal “rag”)

    “Only Obama has not called for a moratorium and interest-rate freeze. Though he has been a proponent of mortgage fraud legislation in the Senate, he has remained silent on further financial regulations. And much like his broader economic stimulus package, Obama’s foreclosure plan mostly avoids direct government spending in favor of a tax credit for homeowners, which amounts to about $500 on average, beyond which only certain borrowers would be eligible for help from an additional fund.”

    Obama’s disappointing foreclosure plan stems from the centrist politics of his three chief economic advisers and his campaign’s ties to Wall Street institutions opposed to increased financial regulation. David Cutler and Jeffrey Liebman are both Harvard economists who served in the Clinton Administration, and they work on market-oriented solutions to social welfare issues. Cutler advocates improving healthcare through financial incentives; Liebman, the partial privatization of Social Security.”

    How Obama Can Demonstrate Real Leadership on the Economic Crisis, Huffinton Post (liberal “rag”)

    “He (Obama) needs to start by making sure that the economic advisers he turns to extend beyond those he had on a conference call on Monday — Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Laura Tyson, and Paul Volcker. It’s great to include graybeards who have been through crises before, but he needs to go beyond the two Treasury Secretaries who were complicit in the 1990s deregulation orgy that has led to so many of the problems we are now seeing. And he needs to make it clear that the Clinton-era Democrats who put the interests of Wall Street ahead of the interests of Main Street are not going to be the primary voices he listens to.

    Here’s more on the overwhelming support Democrats gave to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act:

    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was passed 90-8-1 by the Senate, 362-57-15 by the House, and signed by Bill Clinton, on the subject of banking deregulation.

    Bill Clinton, Remarks on Signing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Nov. 12

    “You heard Senator Gramm characterize this bill as a victory for freedom and free markets. And Congressman LaFalce characterized this bill as a victory for consumer protection. And both of them are right. And I have always believed that one required the other.”

    Speech to US Chamber of Commerce, Christopher Dodd, Democratic Chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, March 2007

    I am proud to have had Tom’s and the Chamber’s support on some of the most important pieces of legislation with which I have been associated. Laws like the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act; the Y2K litigation reform act; the Class Action Fairness Act; the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which has helped bring our financial services sector into the 21st century; and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which in the aftermath of 9/11 has played a crucial role in keeping our economy strong.”

  52. 59

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy & Crock:

    Gee, I already said I was too busy to keep swapping information with Puddy today, and you guys keep cutting and pasting that drivel.

    Puddy: your retort is to assume that that foreclosures are simply because somebody tried to move up when they can’t afford it? Don’t let the facts get in the way of your prejudices. Start putting in some serious time offering sitting in on credit counseling sessions, like the ones I offer in my church (and have been over the past twenty years), and you’ll find out differently. But I wouldn’t want to spoil your delusions.

    “Truth”‘s posting has so many untruths in it that I don’t have time to even start to deal with it. The Bush administration tried to force the Iraqis into no-bid oil contracts, the Iraqis rejected it because it clearly wasn’t in their best interests. If you knew anything at all about the history of western oil interests in Iraq, you would know how sensitive they are to these issues. The “hydrocarbon law” allegation is a red herring, with no truth to it, another attempt to deflect blame.

    I really don’t have time to research this type of drivel today – obviously Karl Rove and his Misinformation Team have more time and funding available to come up with these pearls of manure than I have time to refute them. That’s typical Rovian strategy: take a small item of truth (a meeting) and twist it’s intent and purpose and content, sell it over the internet or Right-Wing Talk Radio, claim it’s being held secret by some media conspiracy, and then by the time it’s disected and revealed to be false, Rove’s team already has a couple more similar untruths out on the internet.

    As for me, I’m actually working to sell U.S. products overseas today, and lunch is over, so don’t expect me to be monitoring any response.

  53. 60

    Steve spews:

    @57 “the resulting media hooraw in Iraq led to the cancellation of the contracts”

    Good grief, Pud, take a reality pill or something.

  54. 61

    Thruth spews:

    Yeah, no time to read the truth. not what you like to hear. Bet you where the first one to yell in 2004 “How could we lose this election to Bush again”

    History will repeat except with McCain and Dino.

    More top secret weapons to our enemies.

  55. 62

    Steve spews:

    I see that our resident goatfucker Puddy has gone back into hiding – probably ripping Exodus out of his bible.

    Exodus 22:19

    “Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.”

  56. 63

    michael spews:

    From an email the Rossi campaign just sent out.

    Gregoire has already given 3,000 “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards to felons. I would fund prisons and keep these dangerous criminals away from our families and out of our neighborhoods.

    Gregoire wants to raise taxes, increase burdens on families, and let thousands of dangerous criminals out on the streets.

    Gosh, now that he puts it that way we better all vote for Rossi.

  57. 64

    michael spews:

    Well this is just ducky.

    COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? … Instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

    PALIN: Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions.

  58. 65

    Don Joe spews:

    Oh, dear. It looks like the Puddy Parade of Partial Punditry is back again trying to peddle the old CRA meme. How many times does that have to be discredited before Puddy’s stupidity ends? Seriously, the notion that poor, mostly minority, folks could generate enough leverage of any kind as to produce more $500b in write-downs is beyond laughable.

    Also, the Puddy blame game about who’s responsible for the current melt-down distracts from one very clear central fact: that the current credit crisis is a failure of Republican philosophy. That one can round up a few Democrats who bought into that philosophy doesn’t change the fact that the deregulation of the financial industry is part and parcel of Republican ideology.

    For a very good run-down of the mechanics, this two-part article here and here.

    Note, without the deregulation (and a bit of lax enforcement in the Bush Administration), you don’t have CDOs (collateralized debt obligations), which, in turn, don’t overtax the ability of the ratings agencies (S&P, Moody’s) to give accurate ratings.

  59. 66

    Don Joe spews:

    Oh, and Puddy, if everyone whom you have labelled as “Democrate” or “liberal” were, in fact, liberal Democrats, there’s no way the current Presidential race would be a close as it is.

    Lastly, Puddy, do you remember this thread, where you backed Sam Zell’s assertions and dismissed the analysis of Nouriel Roubini regarding the housing market? Have I not warned you about the dangers of accepting someone’s opinion based on who’s giving the opinion rather than based on the quality of the analysis used to back up that opinion?

    Silly Puddy. What an inveterate fool you are.