ThinkProgress: Conservatives try to dodge responsibility for financial crisis by blaming poor people, minorities.

ThinkProgress 99/30/08)

Conservatives try to dodge responsibility for financial crisis by blaming poor people, minorities.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, conservative commentators have blamed the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), low-income people, minorities, and past Democratic administrations for the sub-prime mortgage meltdown:

Laura Ingraham: “When Bill Clinton decided to tell Robert Rubin to re-write the rules the Community Reinvestment Act and push all of these institutions to lend to minority communities.”

Neil Cavuto: “I don’t remember a blaring call that said, Frannie and Freddie are a disaster, loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.”

Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR): “It was their harsh regulation under the Community Reinvestment Act that started this ball rolling down the hill.”

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National Review Online: Guilty Party ACORN, Obama, and the mortgage mess.

National Review Online (9/30/08)

Guilty Party ACORN, Obama, and the mortgage mess.

ACORN recognized very early the opportunity presented by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. As Stanley Kurtz has reported, ACORN proudly touted “affirmative action” lending and pressured banks to make subprime loans. Madeline Talbott, a Chicago ACORN leader, boasted of “dragging banks kicking and screaming” into dubious loans. And, as Sol Stern reported in City Journal, ACORN also found a remunerative niche as an “advisor” to banks seeking regulatory approval. “Thus we have J.P. Morgan & Co., the legatee of the man who once symbolized for many all that was supposedly evil about American capitalism, suddenly donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACORN.” Is this a great country or what? As conservative community activist Robert Woodson put it, “The same corporations that pay ransom to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton pay ransom to ACORN.”

ACORN attracted Barack Obama in his youthful community organizing days. Madeline Talbott hired him to train her staff — the very people who would later descend on Chicago’s banks as CRA shakedown artists. The Democratic nominee later funneled money to the group through the Woods Fund, on whose board he sat, and through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, ditto. Obama was not just sympathetic — he was an ACORN fellow traveler.

Now you could make the case that before 2008, well-intentioned people were simply unaware of what their agitation on behalf of non-credit-worthy borrowers could lead to. But now? With the whole financial world and possibly the world economy trembling and cracking like a cement building in an earthquake, Democrats continue to try to fund their friends at ACORN? And, unashamed, they then trot out to the TV cameras to declare “the party is over” for Wall Street (Nancy Pelosi)? The party should be over for the Democrats who brought us to this pass. If Obama wins, it means hiring an arsonist to fight a fire.

Happy Rosh Hashana

Happy New Year to all our Jewish readers, who are celebrating Rosh Hashana, the day of remembrance.

Newsweek/Gateway Pundit: Obama Loses Jewish Support– Numbers Lower Than Clinton, Gore & Kerry

Gateway Pundit (9/30/08)

Obama Loses Jewish Support– Numbers Lower Than Clinton, Gore & Kerry

Maybe it has something to do with his attending an anti-Semitic church for 20 years? Maybe it’s because his church of 20 years idolized Louis Farrakhan ? Or, maybe its because of his Jew-hating friends or his secret meetings with shady imams ? Whatever the reason, Barack Obama is losing much of the Jewish vote and his numbers are going down not up. Barack Obama shared the cover of his church magazine with known radicals and Jew-haters- Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan. His numbers “pale” in comparison to those received by Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry… And, they’re going down.

Gruntled Center: My Welfare Reform Plan

Gruntled Center (9/30/08)

My Welfare Reform Plan

At this point I am inclined to abolish welfare altogether. The Earned Income Tax Credit is really a much more effective and politically feasible kind of poor support. If we expanded EITC, provided basic medical care for poor people, and some supplements for child care, we could eliminate welfare for able-bodied people, period. The truly disabled could be absorbed into Supplemental Security Income. The lazy would sponge off their mothers.

If we are to keep welfare, the next strongest step down, I think, would be temporary sterilization of the mother and father for as long as they receive welfare. The “temporary” is the crucial word here – Norplant works, and was only squeezed out for political reasons. A male equivalent could easily be developed. Getting welfare would depend on identifying the father, who would also be subject to temporary sterilization. If she was unwilling to identify the father, or he was unwilling to cooperate, she could only get, say, half the benefits. Equally important in this plan is that it only applies to people on welfare. If you are not asking the taxpayers to foot the bill, you can pursue any foolish plan you want, just as you can now.


Given this fact, one good thing we can do is de-racialize the welfare discussion. Most people on welfare are white. This is always a surprise to my students. And most black people are not on welfare, or even poor. This goes double for other non-white ethnic groups. This is also often a surprise to my students. As Promises I Can Keep makes clear, young welfare moms of all races reason in similar ways. The main obstacle to disconnecting the welfare and race discussions is the way-low black marriage rate. As I have pushed here often, the forces trying to improve the lives of African Americans have to be willing to push for marriage. Marriage is good for all races of kids and couples. I am convinced that if the marriage rates for all races and ethnic groups were the same, almost all other ethnic differences in social problems would disappear.

Asia Times: Swiftboating Obama on the cheap

Asia Times (9/30/08)

Swiftboating Obama on the cheap

OAKLAND, California – In 2004, the so-called “swiftboating” of John Kerry’s United States presidential campaign changed the course of history by helping defeat the Massachusetts senator, and the tactic appeared to become an instant blueprint for future political campaigns.

Given the success of the swiftboating formula – a high-impact, mediagenic group of storytellers (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) clamping on to one very hot-button issue (Kerry’s military record), combined with the financial largesse of opponent George W Bush’s super-wealthy backers (more than US$45 million was put in play), and a message spread by savvy and experienced public relations outfits and advertising enterprises to a controversy-hungry mainstream media – it was anticipated that it would be in play again.

Swiftboating Obama on the cheap
By Bill Berkowitz

OAKLAND, California – In 2004, the so-called “swiftboating” of John Kerry’s United States presidential campaign changed the course of history by helping defeat the Massachusetts senator, and the tactic appeared to become an instant blueprint for future political campaigns.

Given the success of the swiftboating formula – a high-impact, mediagenic group of storytellers (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) clamping on to one very hot-button issue (Kerry’s military record), combined with the financial largesse of opponent George W Bush’s super-wealthy backers (more than US$45 million was put in play), and a message spread by savvy and experienced public relations outfits and advertising enterprises to a controversy-hungry mainstream media – it was anticipated that it would be in play again.

This time around, however, swiftboating has morphed into serial attacks on the cheap.

Released late last month, Floyd Brown’s latest book, Obama Unmasked: Did Slick Hollywood Handlers Create The Perfect Candidate?, co-authored with Lee Troxler, has not created the buzz of others, like Jerome Corsi’s The Obama Nation and David Freddoso’s The Case against Barack Obama – both of which are still on The New York Times best-seller list.

Nevertheless, the book has given the veteran political operative a vehicle for raising money for his various enterprises; groups that are primarily focused on attacking Obama.

While activists with serious time on their hands, some technological skills, and the ability to produce coherent copy either on a website, blog, or My Space/FaceBook page, have become political players, political action committees, 527s and 501(c)(4)s – groups with access to professional copywriters, public relations spinmeisters, legal teams, direct mail firms, e-list brokers and that have longtime relationships with the mainstream media – still have a leg up on the info-everyman.

Despite a constrained financial landscape, there is still room for the political wizardry of Floyd Brown, who pridefully takes credit for the controversial Willie Horton ad that helped destroy the 1988 presidential campaign of governor Michael Dukakis. For months Brown has been searching for a “tipping point” issue and foraging for donors.

Early on in the campaign, in the hope of finding that “tipping point”, Brown tested two themes – Obama as Muslim and Obama as prevaricator. He told the New York Times that the “Swift Boats achieved the tipping point” and he “was part of a team that reached the tipping point in 1988 [that helped put the kybosh on Michael Dukakis’ presidential campaign]. In 1992, we didn’t reach it. We might not this time. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try.”

In his first foray into the presidential campaign, Brown’s National Campaign Fund prepared a TV advertisement called “Victims”, which criticized Obama for being too easy on gang murderers. The goal of the ad was to “draw a parallel between Obama’s weakness on gang violence and the war on terror”, Brown explained.

Wall Street Journal Washington Wire: Group Seeking Immigration Curbs Launches Web Ads

Wall Street Journal Washington Wire (9/30/08)

Group Seeking Immigration Curbs Launches Web Ads

Immigration has largely disappeared as a campaign issue. But to make sure it’s not forgotten, the immigration-restrictionist group NumbersUSA is launching a $1 million Web-based ad campaign targeting voters worried more about population growth and competition for resources than illegal border crossers.

The group says it will spend another $1.5 million raised from its members for other election-related activities this fall, including promoting the scorecards it keeps on the immigration positions of the presidential candidates and the immigration votes cast by every member of Congress.

On those scorecards, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his Republican rival, John McCain, get grades ranging from “poor” to “abysmal” on most of 12 measures. Obama gets his only “good” for his votes to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants and McCain gets his only “good” for promoting tougher border-security plans.