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December 01, 2011

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Neo

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by a cartel rip crew that used government intelligence to plot an armed robbery. The robbery turned into a murder when the rip crew encountered the BORTAC unit instead of the drug smugglers they expected to be there.

And both the DEA and FBI knew what their informant and his rip crew was up to before hand, and did nothing to deconflict with the Border Patrol or ATF, effectively setting up the BORTAC team to be ambushed.

Is anybody in charge at DOJ ?

Porchlight

Good points OL and jimmyk.

Hi Frau!

bio mom

I really think Fox News is not credible in its current treatment of Romney vs. Gingrich. Gingrich was one of their guys for a long time, a regular, on their payroll. I do not think they can be fair here, even if they want to be. What was with the lighting they used on Romney in that interview? Turned him pink, yet Bret sitting across from him had no such hue. If Romney shows emotion he is criticized. If he doesn't show emotion he is criticized. The big question is: Do you want to beat Obama? A pudgy retread like Gingrich certainly won't, so who else is there but Romney?

Jim Ryan

Via Instapundit, more on Newt's GSE affair.

Melinda Romanoff

Frau-

I did it in 5. I blame irrational exuberance during my Freshman year.

Cecil Turner

Well Ben, let's ask ourselves why those incentives to write sub-prime mortgages were created?

And hey, I wonder where they learned how to do that? Oh, that's right:

WASHINGTON -- The government on Monday filed civil charges against former Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines and two other top executives, accusing them of misconduct costing shareholders billions of dollars.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight announced that it is seeking fines and the return of millions in bonus money. It filed 101 charges against Raines, former chief financial officer Timothy Howard and former controller Leanne Spencer. [. . .]
OFHEO said it is seeking civil fines of $100 million or more against the three former executives and restitution totaling more than $115 million in bonus money tied to an improper accounting scheme.

In a "paltry settlement", they got to keep most of it. And if Kristof wants to whine about "fairness" perhaps he ought to rail against the Democrats who blamed their scandal on the GOP. And that Maxine Waters is now in line to be ranking member of the (House Financial Services) committee.

Rick Ballard

Ranger,

Think of the prog Black Bankruptcy Bounty as being symmetrical with the proglodyte Planned Parenthood Black Genocide Bounty. If they can't kill all blacks in the womb, then make them debt slaves in Blue Hells.

jimmyk,

Romney's problem is that we are all insufficiently intelligent enough to grasp the subtle efficacy of the Goldilocks Optimum. Every one of his carefully vetted Top Men tells him so and who can deny absolute truth uttered by extraordinarily well credentialed Top Men?

Old Lurker

Good point Bio Mom. But we'd sort like him to pretend to like us before we jump in bed. Faking is OK, but at least try to.

Clarice

Sorry, but who do you think will be better able to shove F and F down Obama's deserving throat? Romney or Gingrich?

Later.

MayBee

The Fannie and Freddie thing was an example of a well handled scandal. All of the major players went on to lead wealthy, influential lives, many as advisers to our current president.

And when another candidate tried to point out Obama's ties to Raines and Johnson? The scandal turned on him, because using Raines in an ad was racist.

centralcal

Over at Daylife there is a whole series of photos of the White House Christmas decorations, of Michelle Antoinette newly sleek with industrial spanx and actually wearing hosiery (a first?). The tree ornaments struck me first and I couldn't really articulate why. Then, I saw this at Jammie Wearing Fool:

Creepy, Disrespectful Christmas Display At the White House

Medals. Lots and lots of medals dangling on that tree.

MarkO

Trump is great at shoving things down people's throats. Holder will be long gone when any of these are in a position to deal with him. We could use a Speaker of the House.

JM Hanes

"These less savvy borrowers were disproportionately blacks and Latinos, he said, and they ended up paying a higher rate so that they were more likely to lose their homes."

Oddly enough, the push to get lower income Americans into their own homes designed by the federal government was directly aimed at those very demographic groups -- based on the claim that they were disproportionately disadvantaged in the mortgage market by their lack of resources!

Stranger still, for-profit banks quickly figured out which side their bread was buttered on, ramped up their lending, and developed a whole new market for the whole new class of subprime debt created as a result of federal policy and regulations.

The fact that Kristof's bank critic hails from I've-got-prime-swampland-to-sell-you Florida is just an ironic freebie.

Neo
Reasonable people can disagree about how many immigrants the country should welcome (I'm in the pro-immigration camp). But liberal supporters of Occupy Wall Street, many of whom have expressed solidarity with undocumented workers, must reconcile the fact that their embrace of large-scale immigration of unskilled workers is a driver of the inequality they denounce.
Benjamin Franklin

“The bigwigs of the corporations knew this, but they figured we’re going to make billions out of it, so who cares? The government is going to bail us out. And the problem loans will be out of here, maybe even overseas.”

One memory particularly troubles Theckston. He says that some account executives earned a commission seven times higher from subprime loans, rather than prime mortgages. So they looked for less savvy borrowers — those with less education, without previous mortgage experience, or without fluent English — and nudged them toward subprime loans.

These less savvy borrowers were disproportionately blacks and Latinos, he said, and they ended up paying a higher rate so that they were more likely to lose their homes. Senior executives seemed aware of this racial mismatch, he recalled, and frantically tried to cover it up."

Imagine these people getting all 'uppity' and wanting their own homes?

SEVEN times more commission on sub-primes. There's yer incentive.

Thomas Collins

Following up on JMH's 12:39 PM post, the bloviating about the housing crisis demonstrating the weakness of free market capitalism is astounding. As JMH's post pithily demonstrates, the housing market was (and is, for that matter) an exquisite model of government meddling in a market, and the results of such meddling.

Benjamin Franklin

" for-profit banks quickly figured out which side their bread was buttered on, ramped up their lending, "

A clear case of 'entrapment' lol

Danube of Thought

Here's one the Obama people got right:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top national security lawyers in the Obama administration say U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets when they take up arms with al-Qaida.

The lawyers were asked at a national security conference Thursday about the CIA killing of Anwar al-Alwaki, a U.S. citizen and leading al-Qaida figure. He died in a Sept. 30 U.S. drone strike in the mountains of Yemen.

Benjamin Franklin

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top national security lawyers in the Obama administration say U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets when they take up arms with al-Qaida."

Saves money when there's no need for prosecution.

And as for Gitmo; they won't git no mo.

JM Hanes

Entrapment, incentives, tomatoes, tomatoes.

jimmyk

the housing market was (and is, for that matter) an exquisite model of government meddling in a market, and the results of such meddling.

Indeed. And I do think Newt is vulnerable on this and needs to address his support of FM/FM. Does he still believe that GSE's are a great concept, or was he just a gun-for-hire trying to please a client? I wish Hannity had challenged him on this, though I'm sure he'll have to answer at some point (or maybe he has already and I've missed it).

Danube of Thought

Do state AGs of e.g. Arizona or Texas have jurisdiction to conduct an investigation into F&F for possible prosecution of state crimes?

Absolutely.

Sue

C-cal,

Having never served in the military, I am responding as someone who would take a SEAL team member home with her and tell her husband he was a mirage, I liked the tree. I wonder how I would feel if I was military or had a SEAL hiding in my closet?

Benjamin Franklin

As always, you folks are blind to your own party in almost EVERY arena, but especially this one.

Remember Bush's OWNERSHIP SOCIETY?


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/06/AR2007040601522.html


The full effects of the collapse of the subprime market remain to be seen, but it is not too early to talk about the policies that got us here. In particular, the government policy of promoting homeownership should be examined.

Proselytizers of homeownership can be found in both political parties. Democrats have long argued for lending policies that allow easier mortgage credit to low-income families to help remove an important obstacle to achieving financial security. Republicans tend to frame their support for homeownership as part of their drive to create an "ownership society" in which everyone owns a piece of the country and can share in its prosperity.

Porchlight

centralcal,

From the photos at the Daily Mail (UK) article that JWF linked, it looks like the "official" WH Christmas tree in the Blue Room has both medals from living servicemen and gold star-shaped ornaments honoring fallen servicemen. It looks like some of those stars have messages written on them from Gold Star family members to their lost soldiers. This is the tree pictured on the JWF post.

There is also a smaller tree on the East Landing that is dedicated to Gold Star families, with more ornaments honoring the fallen.

The JWF post you linked is interesting. I'll be curious to hear what other military folks think of this.

Neo

Sarkozy reaffirms commitment to nuclear energy

narciso

Actually it's worse than that, Maybee, McCain relied on the Post's own reporting, which the
paper then attacked him for citing, just like
the Journal about a year ago, attacked Sarah, for citing their own figures, in calculating
the inflation from QE 2

Cecil Turner

Via Instapundit, more on Newt's GSE affair.

Pretty weak tea. None of that adds up to "lobbying," which is what he denied. And the highbrow Q&A over the proper role of government is precisely the sort of historical "advice" he said he provided. Also, bear in mind, those unnamed "former officials" are almost certainly political opponents and die-hard Democrats (who provided the overwhelming majority of the folks who ran the GSEs). Finally, the quoted material has a bit that bolsters his claim to having provided warning on practices:

. . . So while we need to improve the regulation of the GSEs, I would be very cautious about fundamentally changing their role or the model itself. [emphasis added]
I'm not a big Newt supporter, but it's more than a little ridiculous to try to stick him with the blame for FM/FM for taking about 200K a year in consulting fees when the actual criminals (including prominent Democrats like Jamie Gorelick) netted five times that in [shady] bonuses alone.

Benjamin Franklin

Here's why Tea Party and Obama (DHS) are so down on Occupy.


Here’s a Quote of the Day:(twitter)

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

narciso

'Foolish human' you expect us to believe our own data, when so much is at stake;

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/09/obamas_fannie_mae_connection.html

centralcal

Sue and Porch: Maybe I was just having a knee-jerk reaction to the medals on the tree because it is in the Obama White House. Not having anyone in - or having lost anyone serving - the military, I was curious about how those families might feel.

MayBee

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

It is something to legitimately fear.

Rick Ballard

TC,

The price of new homes drives the price increases in older homes so it's not really fair to leave out the decisions of the Top Men to make new homes more expensive by constantly "improving" the building codes and then doubling down by front loading all ancillary costs into developed lot prices rather than distributing the costs over thirty years via bonds. Toss in the invention of CDS (by highly credentialed financial experts) in order to ensure the "safety" of ever more rickety MBS (another invention of highly credentialed financial experts) and it becomes a bit difficult to determine who should be hanged first.

I vote for whichever expert made the best argument that [s]he was acting only in the "best interest of the public".

MayBee

I would be more impressed by Obama's ostentatious devotion to the military if he could remember whom he awarded with Medals of Honor.

Porchlight

It is something to legitimately fear.

It is. But it's something we've seen and weathered in the past. A growing economy and uptick in employment will do much to right the ship and calm fears. Another reason OMG-ABO

Ranger

Ben, there is nothing wrong with the concept of expanding prosparity, and home ownership has been a traditional way to build wealth over time. The problem is when the concept is pushed too far.

When the government starts demanding that welfare payments be counted as income for mortgage eligability you start demolishing the foundations of lending risk management. That's one your beloved government regulations by the way. Of course, back in the late 90s all those efforts at "inovative lending" were seen as ways to force banks to "give back" wealth to poor communities.

Funny that when the leftists get government to step in to enhance "social justice" and "spread the wealth" the rich leftists get richer and the poor get screwed.

Thomas Collins

BFF, your attempt to equate Dems and GOPers on the Government Sponsored Enterprises simply doesn't have any basis in the facts. For example, see LUN for an excerpt of a Congressional hearing in which Dem Congresscritters badger a governmental official trying to do his job in monitoring Fannie and Freddie, while the GOP members of the committee are clearly attuned to the problems with the GSE behemoths. I don't think anyone here is arguing that the GOP is blameless in this mess. However, it is the Dems who have led the charge in government meddling in the housing market and deflected monitoring of the GSEs.

Benjamin Franklin

"It is something to legitimately fear."

A tacit admission from at least one, that Obama and Tea Party are aligned on this issue.

narciso

Didn't this whole wave, including the CRA revisions, start with that bogus Boston Fed
report on 'redlining'

Jane

I think one of Newt's best assets is his ability to answer the liberal media on anything they throw at him. He'll accuse them of carrying the president's water, using Alinsky tactics and purposely trying to divert attention from the damage this president has done to this country.

He's not my first choice but I really think he will be very fun.

GMAX

Speaking of building codes, I was asked the other day to provide an asbestos survey with my construction permit. When I replied that asbestos was banned as a building material before 1980 and my building was built in 1996, I got a shrug and a mumble. When asked to repeat the mumble, it came as an enlightenment that the wall board could have been stored in a warehouse for all those many years. Idiocy on steroids brought to you by your friendly neighborhood government, with much cheer! They are here to help!

Cecil Turner

Let's expand that bit about Jamie Gorelick from wikipedia:

Even though she had no previous training nor experience in finance, Gorelick was appointed Vice Chairman of Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) from 1997 to 2003. She served alongside former Clinton Administration official Franklin Raines.[7] During that period, Fannie Mae developed a $10 billion accounting scandal.[8] [ . . . ]

Investigation by the OFHEO detailed in their official report on the accounting scandal in 2006 on page 66 that from 1998 to 2002 Gorelick received a total of $26,466,834.00 in income. [emphasis added]

It's really hard to see this as anything but a payoff for political work. And the grapevine suggests she's still on the short list for important nominations. Incredibly corrupt, and almost entirely ignored by the MSM (which is probably why Democrat scandals manage to be so sleazy).

Melinda Romanoff

narciso-

No, that Boston Fed report was a late comer, but was used to leverage up the existing actions.

narciso

Meanwhile, they've concluded that the Skydragon's breath is minty fresh


http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/30/2525557/when-it-comes-to-hurricanes-climate.html

Porchlight

centralcal, I have a similar reaction. To me the trees seem carefully crafted to send a message. "Look at these pretty trees. See? *They* never did anything like this when they were here. They sent you to the wars to die, but *we* honor you and we are going to bring you home. Vote for Barack."

Yes, I'm cynical.

Jane

There is no part of the tea party that opposes capitalism. The only think OWS and the tea party have in common is the opposition of crony capitalism which is overwhelmingly practiced by the democrat ruling class. The problem with OWS is they are so stupid they support the democrat ruling class.

MayBee

A tacit admission from at least one, that Obama and Tea Party are aligned on this issue.


What?

bgates

. . . So while we need to improve the regulation of the GSEs, I would be very cautious about fundamentally changing their role or the model itself. [emphasis added]

I think you have a typo there, Cecil. That should read

. . . So while we need to improve the regulation of the GSEs, I would be very cautious about fundamentally changing their role or the model itself.

He might have wanted to slow down the enterprise, but he wasn't saying anything about the fact that it was headed towards a cliff.

(Such is the state of American politics that a man who supported the Democrats' efforts to destroy the housing and financial sectors through the GSEs,
and the Democrats' efforts to destroy the energy and virtually every other sector through...whatever he and Nancy were droning about from that loveseat,
and the Democrats' efforts to sabotage Ryan's attempt to keep the irresponsible pledges of earlier generations of Democrats from bankrupting the federal government,
might yet be the best Republican candidate out there. Is it too late to get a "Draft McClintock" movement going?)

Jane

Mel,

Which banks has Marsha filed suit against?

narciso

My mistake, it's hard to tell the cause and effet with 'the two mockeries of a travesty of a sham'

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/10/opinion/l-mortgage-study-found-race-discrimination-not-redlining-204862.html

Just as I believe the Roberts dissent in Boumedienne, included the most recent data,
on Gitmo detainees returning to the battle field, which subsequent decisions have incorporated

MayBee

Jane- if I can understand his cryptic commenting style, I think Ben is trying to say Obama and the tea party are both pro-captialism and somehow I am tacitly admitting that.

As if that's what his comment from Frank Luntz said.

jimmyk

Pretty weak tea. None of that adds up to "lobbying," which is what he denied.

I don't particularly care whether he lobbied or not. What concerns me are quotes like this:


I like the GSE model because it provides a more efficient, market-based alternative to taxpayer-funded government programs. It marries private enterprise to a public purpose. We obviously don’t want to use GSEs for everything, but there are times when private enterprise alone is not sufficient to achieve a public purpose.

I would love to hear him say that he no longer believes this. I'd even stipulate that I won't call it a flip-flop, just a discovery of the truth. But he seems to be sticking to this favorable view of "public-private partnership," only adding that he thinks FM/FM should be "broken up"--not disbanded, mind you, just carved up AT&T style. So this is not a guy who will make big changes in Washington, it would seem, though he'd obviously be a giant improvement.

Thomas Collins

I don't even think the GOP could be criticized for not attempting to halt the GSEs' activities in the early 2000s. If the GOP had done this, the GOP would have been subjected to unending charges of racism by Frank, Kerry, Waters, Durbin, Kennedy, Jackson Lee, Jackson, Sr., Jackson, Jr., and a host of others. MSM likely would have joined in the chorus.

Melinda Romanoff

Jane-

They would be the TBTF Big 5.

Holly

I'm way behind on the Insider story. Did he reveal anything in prior interviews to indicate he's legit?

Thomas Collins

I don't even think the GOP could be criticized for not attempting to halt the GSEs' activities in the early 2000s. If the GOP had done this, the GOP would have been subjected to unending charges of racism by Frank, Kerry, Waters, Durbin, Kennedy, Jackson Lee, Jackson, Sr., Jackson, Jr., and a host of others. MSM likely would have joined in the chorus.

MayBee

Proselytizers of homeownership can be found in both political parties. Democrats have long argued for lending policies that allow easier mortgage credit to low-income families to help remove an important obstacle to achieving financial security. Republicans tend to frame their support for homeownership as part of their drive to create an "ownership society" in which everyone owns a piece of the country and can share in its prosperity.

In which Ben learns that even things done with good intentions can turn out horribly.

Now let's teach that to the people who are still agitating for the CLASS act, or to the economic justice ideas of the OWSers.

(Another) Barbara

Yes, I'm cynical.

Me too. But it's a worthy example of the confirmation bias Ignatz discussed.

If it had been in the Bush White House I would have found it moving and respectful, and a touching gesture toward the families of the fallen.

But it's not in the Bush White House so it's tempting to take an alternative view. I think I'll remain silent, for once.

narciso

Well the tale of Armando Falcon, the aide to
former Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, and his confrontations with Frank tell the tale, in that regard, He was eased out, of the supervising agency, and a more amenable 'fox
to guard the henhouse', Mark Brickell was proposed.

narciso

Here's one account of the matter;


http://www.babalublog.com/archives/009830.html

Benjamin Franklin

"the GOP would have been subjected to unending charges of racism"

Weak tea, TC.

What about their overarching, and superior moral position. Isn't that a greater responsibility?

Cecil Turner

I think you have a typo there, Cecil. That should read

If you follow the original link, all the bolds are to highlight his "support" for GSEs. This is in response, and, I think, fair.

Such is the state of American politics that a man who supported the Democrats' efforts to destroy the housing and financial sectors through the GSEs,

I don't think lumping Newt in with the guys who ran the GSEs is fair. If the reforms he obviously supported (and Democrats blocked) had been implemented, I doubt we'd be having this conversation.

I would love to hear him say that he no longer believes this.

In light of the overwhelming evidence of corruption and mismanagement, I'm not sure the underlying model can be assumed to be the problem. In fact, oversight appears to be the main issue.

narciso

And a contemporary link therein,


http://blog.mysanantonio.com/leecusenbary/2011/04/the-unwavering-truth-of-san-antonios-armando-falcon-toppled-corruption-at-fannie-mae/

Thomas Collins

Narciso, if I were asked which one of the government regulatory officials of the early 21st century I admire most, I'd say Armando Falcon. The abuse to which he was subjected by Frank and Waters and the other Dem Congresscritters was reprehensible even by the cynical standards of Beltway maneuvering.

Porchlight

(A)B, I see what you're driving at and I do agree about the dangers of confirmation bias.

But I'll leave you with this. I know GWB and Laura have deep respect and love for military families.

I don't know any such thing about BHO and Michelle. In fact, they've done much to make me worry that the opposite is true. Such as "I have a bracelet too," Obama's inability to distinguish between recipients of medals he has awarded, and the recent Dover AFB photo op salute.

Perhaps it is confirmation bias, but I prefer to think of my view as a position based on a decent-sized body of evidence.

(Another) Barbara

I don't particularly care whether he lobbied or not.

Depends on what he was lobbying for/against, doesn't it? My innards curdled when he claimed in the debate that he was paid by Fannie and Freddie as "an historian" and that all he did was tell them it wouldn't work.

Since then we've learned he scammed us/them for $1.6 million bucks, mainly to access his Rolodex and make a few calls, as Mark Steyn has pointed out.

Yes, we have slim pickings and I remain an ABO. But we'd have to swallow a lot of principle to get behind this fat diner at the trough.

Thomas Collins
"Weak tea, TC."

BFF, I love that tweak, even though I think you are as wet as a tea bag drenched in hot water on this issue.

I never claimed superior morality for the GOP. In my internal cosmos, that's a question for God, not me. As far as what actually played out in the GSE mess, I think it is clear the GOP was for stricter monitoring, and it was the Dems who were the moral pontificants.

Old Lurker

"But it's something we've seen and weathered in the past."

Porch, I've been thinking about that lately in the context of other great upheavals from history, and the thing that worries me is that other great uprisings involved masses throwing off something (genuinely)oppressive, but known, hoping for a new arrangement that will be better than that oppression. Sometimes the sought after new thing was unknown (our founding, frankly), and other times they strived for a better system modeled after a successful alternative. That's what we sold through the cold war, and for decades before as productive immigrants came to our shores for the opportunity we offered, not for the food stamps and free stuff.

It seems to me these kids in the street have no direct experience with ANY "bad old days"; no direct threat to the "comfortable status quo" like our parents had when threatened by WWII; no direct experience with real hunger like the Depression; no direct experience living under the reality of a Stalin or Lenin; and in fact they cannot point to a single better societal arrangement anywhere in the world nor from any time in history.

MayBee's comment above about the danger cited by Luntz is based on her knowledge of history's experience with the overwhelming power of a bloodthirsty mob. And her thought is based on her knowledge of real history and understamnding of real economics. She learned that in school when those things were taught, and she can read a book and does (when not modeling in the nude to tease DoT).

But the destructive power of this mob this time (or if not this one, then maybe the next one) is made stronger by destructive momentum offered by the double prong of the rise of Islam and it's willingness to cut any throat necessary to accomplish it's goal, and the simultaneous demographical demise of western Europe. Hell, there always was an England with a leader able to tell ours to not go wobbly from time to time.

So this time the movie is prety scary, seems to me.

Neo
The "Assassination Memos" The government lawyers, CIA counsel Stephen Preston and Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson, did not directly address the al-Awlaki case. But they said U.S. citizens do not have immunity when they are at war with the United States.
John Yoo and Jay Bybee now look tame.
(Another) Barbara

Perhaps it is confirmation bias, but I prefer to think of my view as a position based on a decent-sized body of evidence

I wasn't putting forth an argument, Porchlight; that's why I noted my own cynicism.

Just saying that the act itself was a decent one -- unlike what was opined on JWF -- although we are rightly suspicious of its motivation.

narciso

I guess if you're a fmr.partner at Wilmer Hale, (Gorelick's firm, btw,)much can be excused.

Ranger

In light of the overwhelming evidence of corruption and mismanagement, I'm not sure the underlying model can be assumed to be the problem. In fact, oversight appears to be the main issue.

A resonable argument, but at this point I am not convinced that "Public-Private Partnerships" (of which the GSEs were prime examples) can be seperated from corruption.

Maybe its just having grown up outside of Chicago, but having seen how these types of projects have been used to transfer wealth from the public treasury to the pockets of the well connected, I don't see any way to effectivly seperate them from corruption.

I have come to the conclution that these efforts should either be done by private cherities or through the direct use of tax funds and subject to voter accountability.

As the affordable housing scam proved over and over again, Public-Private Partnerships simply became a way to line the pockets of political contributors (who then cycled that money back to the politicians) while leaving people in sub-standard housing.

Old Lurker

I should have added a third prong of destructive momentum, that being the fact that we are out of money and have more bills than can ever be paid. And simply trying to cap it at the present level seems to be politically unlikely.

Porchlight

Gotcha, (A)B. Thanks.

Benjamin Franklin

"I love that tweak"

TC;

Well, I think corruption in DC is bi-partisan. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Porchlight

All good arguments, OL. I find your third prong most convincing. At least we are not (yet) in as deep a hole as Europe.

narciso

Turns out Gorelick was the co chair at the panel, at Wilmer, nothing too controversial,
except one wonders if he gave input on the Embraer/Hawker deal.


http://www.wilmerhale.com/services/practice/pubs.aspx?qSort=&firmService=bbc321f7-581d-4eb6-a1cd-32963676d820&archive=true

Ranger

And, of course, there is the perverse incentive to never actually deal with the issue the Public-Private Partnership is intended to fix, since solving the issue would end the gravey train for all involved (hence why people in sub-standard housing, never get out of that condition despite massive expenditurs on "affordable housing").

narciso

Mind you, Johnson and Preston's decision were currect, only when Bradbury and Addington proposed such a thing, in several memos, you'd
think they were drafting a charter for Division.

Jane

I love this from Insty via Hot Air. I assume most have seen it.

STANDING UP AGAINST BIGOTRY: Legendary investor to Obama:

Is all this class warfare rhetoric really necessary? “Like many others, I hoped that your election would bring a salutary change of direction to the country, despite what more than a few feared was an overly aggressive social agenda. And I cannot credibly blame you for the economic mess that you inherited, even if the policy response on your watch has been profligate and largely ineffectual. . . . But what I can justifiably hold you accountable for is you and your minions’ role in setting the tenor of the rancorous debate now roiling us that smacks of what so many have characterized as “class warfare”. Whether this reflects your principled belief that the eternal divide between the haves and have-nots is at the root of all the evils that afflict our society or just a cynical, populist appeal to his base by a president struggling in the polls is of little importance.”

GMAX

Noted this in the Union Leader regarding Cain:

“today and tomorrow there will be releases of very important information concerning this woman and her claims and he said it will be good news for Herman Cain.”

Liar liar pants on fire?

narciso

I know its Tweety, after all, and he's among
the more sane in the MSNBC asylum


http://www.youtube.com/user/toddfein#p/a/u/1/HhkDhnUY9xU

GMAX

And another happy note, this time from Rasmussen:


A Rasmussen Reports poll of likely GOP primary voters released today has Newt Gingrich at 38 percent and Mitt Romney at 17 percent. None of the other candidates’ support is in the double digits.

MayBee

Well, I think corruption in DC is bi-partisan. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

You continue to confuse "bad policy" and "bad but legal consequences" with corruption. I don't think there is anybody here who will say that both parties can't be corrupt.
But you have to come up with examples of *corruption* if that's what you want to discuss.

rse

As someone unfortunately qualified for an opinion on the tree, it is disrespectful when it is inconsistent with all the ways you have previously shown that our servicemen do not matter. Ridiculous ROEs, rejecting the counsel of the experts for a political solution, putting what was purchased so far with lives and treasure at risk for political deadlines, announcing a date of withdrawal that makes cooperation less likely.

I was tracking something that turned out to be deeply troubling. One of the aspects the consultancy wished to sell was to push more public-private partnerships as a means of attracting business. You tell the govt you can arrange funds from foundations and business in return for certain policies. You then sell your services to businesses for your connections to govt officials with decision making power. It's more than corrupt in practice. The corruption has become a marketing template to be mentioned obliquely in annual reports.

Finally, we are worse this time because education is deliberately being used to turn off the alarm systems and accomplish what would be rejected at the ballot box and defeated militarily. I am reading Lafromboise's book on the IPCC today and we have so-called experts in her area and mine who, knowingly or not, are implementing political theories of subjagation in the name of science that does not exist upon close examination. I really wish her research did not fit into my template but it does. The political class worldwide has declared war on the people and is desperately seeking every way possible to destroy effective dissent.

narciso

We're kind of illustrating the absurdity of the current system, as Schweitzer points out,
he's made more progress probably than the
whole Occupy movement has done in two months, but since when do Vampires refuse a turn at
the Blood Bank, unless it is leavened with garlic;

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/12/01/insider-trading-hearings-turn-lawmakers-scrutiny-on-themselves/

bgates

This is in response, and, I think, fair.

It's fair, it's just not that important. I'm of the opinion that when the government decides to use hundreds of billions of dollars to distort a market, bad things will happen even if a really smart guy like Gingrich gets to write all the regulations he wants.

In light of the overwhelming evidence of corruption and mismanagement, I'm not sure the underlying model can be assumed to be the problem.

Not unless the underlying model can be demonstrated to lead to corruption and mismanagement. Since the model is "let's put unimaginably vast amounts of money in the hands of Democrat party hacks for the benefit of the poor", that's not hard.

narciso

They are very Brechtian in their resolve, to
'dissolve the people and elect another' as
he commented after the '53 riots, rse.

bgates

I cannot credibly blame you for the economic mess that you inherited

Less than 15 months until we get at least a four-year respite from that sentiment.

Ranger

Well, I think corruption in DC is bi-partisan. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Actually, I think you will find, if you read here with an open mind, that many here see the size of government as one of the key elements that breeds corruption, and that the solution is not so much to put one party or the other in charge, but to shrink the size of government to reduce the opportunity for corruption.

MayBee

From Breaking News.

I never want to hear Obama whine about how he is treated again:

Amnesty International calls for arrest of former US President George W. Bush while he travels in Africa - @politico

narciso

He ran for President, who knew, more to the point, doesn't this seem more serious;

A federal grand jury is investigating former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson over possible campaign-finance violations stemming from his 2008 presidential run, including allegations that he arranged for supporters to pay off a woman who planned to say they had engaged in an extramarital affair, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

Several of Mr. Richardson’s close associates have been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony before the panel in Albuquerque, the people said. The panel is one of several grand juries in recent years to examine aspects of Mr. Richardson’s administration and campaigns.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204397704577070603352881354.html

Enlightened

Hmmm. Re: Cain and more news to come regarding Ginger....

Isn't it interesting that the story just kind of went WOOSH down the bunny hole? You would think that Gloria All-Red would have already had at least one presser propping up the New Accuser With No Proof just for the opportunity to spew, rinse, repeat.

Benjamin Franklin

"if you read here with an open min"

You should have quit when you were ahead, TC.

The irony drips from that sentence.

MayBee

Did you even read that closely enough to see that wasn't TC?

Porchlight

Interesting, narciso. I remember those rumors swirling about Richardson in 2008.

Thomas Collins

?????, BFF. What do you mean, quitting while I am ahead in connection with the quoted language, which is not mine?

MayBee

Richardson was asked to be in the Obama administration, but the offer was rescinded. Secretary of Commerce, IIRC.

jimmyk

In light of the overwhelming evidence of corruption and mismanagement, I'm not sure the underlying model can be assumed to be the problem. In fact, oversight appears to be the main issue.

As others have pointed out, I don't think the two (public private-partnerships and corruption) can be separated. Or as Milton Friedman said to Phil Donahue: "Where in the world are you going to find these angels who are going to organize society for us?"

Thomas Collins

Oh, I get it now. BFF mistook Ranger for me. Ranger is now no doubt insulted being mistaken for an East Coast mobster-type!!! :-))

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Wilson/Plame