Rahm Emanuel Was Freddie Mac Board Member When They Cooked The Books

Astonishing. Change. Yep, this is a glimpse at the near future under Barack Obama. He is going to bring about lots of change. He offered the position of Chief of Staff to Rahm Emanuel.

There are many disturbing aspects to this pick. Emanuel may be a genius in tax evasion. He may be part of the Illinois corruption machine, I wonder if Rezko is going to out Emanuel too. He is extremely partisan, possibly more so than Obama himself.

The most disturbing is his past position as a Clinton appointed Board of Director at Freddie Mac during the time it was deceiving investors. This is the change that Obama wants to bring about. Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae are the leading cause of today’s financial crisis and Barack is bring in one of the people responsible for the meltdown to be his Chief of Staff.

Not to mention his extensive ties to Wall Street. He spent many years working as an investment banker and earned millions, he also has received about $1.5 million in campaign funds from Wall Street, making them his single largest financial backer. This year alone, Wall Street backed him heavily even though he had no real competition, he was the large recipient in the House. 

My fellow Americans who voted for Barack Obama you have been duped. Your vote was stolen from you.

More Change You Can Believe In!

President-elect Barack Obama’s newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot “red flags,” according to government reports reviewed by ABCNews.com.

Rahm_Emanuel

According to a complaint later filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Freddie Mac, known formally as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, misreported profits by billions of dollars in order to deceive investors between the years 2000 and 2002.

Emanuel was not named in the SEC complaint (click here to read) but the entire board was later accused by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) (click here to read) of having “failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention.”

In a statement to ABCNews.com, a spokesperson said Emanuel served on the board for “13 months-a relatively short period of time.”

The spokesperson said that while on the board, Emanuel “believed that Freddie Mac needed to address concerns raised by Congressional critics.”

Freddie Mac agreed to pay a $50 million penalty in 2007 to settle the SEC complaint and four top executives of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation were charged with negligent conduct and, like the company, agreed to settle the case without admitting or denying the allegations.

The actions by Freddie Mac are cited by some economists as the beginning of the country’s economic meltdown.

The federal government this year was forced to take over Freddie Mac and a sister federal mortgage agency, Fannie Mae, pledging at least $200 billion in public funds.

Freddie Mac records have been subpoenaed by the Justice Department as part of its investigation of the suspect accounting procedures.

Emanuel was named to the Freddie Mac board by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and resigned his position when he ran for Congress in May, 2001.

During the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to the SEC, Freddie Mac substantially misrepresented its income to “present investors with the image of a company that would continue to generate predictable and growing earnings.”

The role of the 18-member board of directors, including Emanuel, was not addressed in the SEC’s public action but was heavily criticized by the oversight group (OFHEO) in 2003.

The oversight report said the board had been apprised of the suspect accounting tactics but “failed to make reasonable inquiries of management.”

The report also said board members appointed by the President, such as Emanuel, serve terms that are far too short “for them to play a meaningful role on the Board.”

As a Congressman, Emanuel recused himself from any votes dealing with Freddie Mac until just this year.

In dealing with the nation’s economic crisis, the new White House chief of staff will almost certainly be involved in discussions about the house and mortgage markets.

Emanuel’s spokesperson said, “As White House chief of staff he will work with President-elect Obama and his economic advisers to help ensure we protect taxpayers and homeowners.”

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The Truth Behind Barack’s Civilian National Security Force

Please take the time to read this before you vote for Obama.

What he is talking about…

 

The pieces are coming together.

We’re getting a more complete picture of Barack Obama’s draconian plans to create a domestic army of radical extremists promoting bigger and more intrusive government.

The plan is to create a boot camp for community agitators – paid for by you, the U.S. taxpayer.

Investor’s Business Daily deserves credit for putting together the elaborate jigsaw puzzle. I merely saw the smoke. IBD discovered the fire. But for reference, you will want to read about what I found previously regarding Obama’s calls for a “civilian national security force.”

It seems Obama was a founding member of a group called Public Allies in 1992. In 1993, he resigned before his wife, Michelle, took over as executive director of the Chicago chapter.

This little-known, but well-funded, band of taxpayer-supported social misfits will, according to IBD, serve as the centerpiece of his “Universal Voluntary Public Service” program.

“Universal voluntary?” Isn’t that an oxymoron? Yes, but just consider the moron who is advocating it.

 

“Big Brother had nothing on the Obamas,” write the editorialists for IBD. “They plan to herd American youth into government-funded re-education camps where they’ll be brainwashed into thinking America is a racist, oppressive place in need of ‘social change.'”

The “Obama Youth” will get a monthly stipend of $1,800, plus paid health and child care, plus a $4,725 grant after their “service” for future education or school loan payoffs.

But this isn’t just a make-work program.

IBD says the “real mission is to radicalize American youth and use them to bring about ‘social change’ through threats, pressure, tension and confrontation – the tactics used by the father of community organizing, Saul ‘The Red’ Alinsky.”

The group boasts that graduates of the program are more than twice as likely as other young people to “engage in protest activities.” Isn’t that wonderful? That’s the real purpose – using your tax dollars to foment extremist political clashes, furthering the reach of Big Government into the lives of all of us.

The government already pays about half the bill for Public Allies through Bill Clinton’s AmeriCorps program. Obama seeks to fund it at levels equal to the U.S. Defense Department – close to $500 billion annually.

This is what he meant when he said: “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the military.”

IBD concludes: “The gall of it: The Obamas want to create a boot camp for radicals who hate the military – and stick American taxpayers with the bill.”

What else is there to say?

Such a program would fundamentally change the character of America – possibly forever.

Someone should ask Obama, who claims to be a legal scholar, where he finds such a program authorized among the enumerated powers of the Constitution.

Now that would be an entertaining question and answer for some intrepid member of the press.

Personally, I won’t hold my breath waiting for anyone with access to be so bold.

Remember what programs like this are about. They are about empowering government to take more control over your life. They are about limiting your freedom. They are about picking your pocket. They are about changing the way you think by coercion. They are about making you uncomfortable being an American. They are about total power – and never letting go.

We’ve seen programs like this before – in Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China.

Never again.

To emphasize Joseph Farah’s closing statement…

 

 

Obama’s Calm During Begining Of Economic Crisis Was Due To Not Knowing What To Do

Bill Clinton in a stump speech for Obama revealed what conservatives have been saying all along, Obama is not ready to be President of the United States. While criticizing John McCain for being unsteady because he chose to suspend his campaign and return to Washington to help solve the problem, Barack Obama did nothing. Liberals tried to say his inaction was a display of leadership.

The truth of the matter, Barack did not know what to do and relied on his economic advisors to tell him what to do. The President of the United States should make a decision and use his advisors to determine if that decision is the right decision, he should not be having the advisors making the decisions and then just sell them to the public. There is nothing wrong with using your advisors to educate you on the situation, however the decision must be the Presidents.

Barack Obama has said he is stronger on Economic issues, yet he relied completely on his advisor to come up with a solution. That is not leadership.

Barack Obama is not ready to lead this country forward, his advisors may be, but Barack is not.

Barack Obama cultivated the image of a cool and collected leader during the height of the economic crisis last month, when lawmakers on Capitol Hill scrambled to draft a workable bailout package after a meltdown on Wall Street. 

And when John McCain suspended his campaign to dive head first into the fray, Obama’s campaign accused the Republican of being “unsteady.” 

But to hear Bill Clinton tell it, the Democratic nominee didn’t quite have a handle on the situation himself. 

“I haven’t cleared this with him and he may even be mad at me for saying this so close to the election, but I know what else he said to his economic advisers (during the crisis),” Clinton told the crowd at a Wednesday night rally with Obama in Florida. “He said, ‘Tell me what the right thing to do is. What’s the right thing for America? Don’t tell me what’s popular. You tell me what’s right — I’ll figure out how to sell it.’” 

Clinton said when the crisis broke, Obama called his own advisers as well as those of the former two-term president, Hillary Clinton, Warren Buffet and others

“He called those people. You know why? Because he knew it was complicated and before he said anything he wanted to understand,” Clinton said. “That’s what a president does in a crisis.” 

The seeming praise may come off as a backhanded compliment, especially since Obama repeatedly accuses McCain of admitting he doesn’t know much about the economy. McCain’s campaign said Clinton’s remark shows Obama was uncertain when Wall Street seemed to be on the verge of crumbling. 

“Barack Obama had no idea what the right thing to do is or at least that’s Bill Clinton’s impression,” McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said. 

“It’s disturbing that … Barack Obama’s response to this is ‘Tell me what to do and I will sell it,'” Goldfarb added. “That’s been Barack Obama’s entire campaign — is one big sales job.” 

During the height of negotiations in late September, McCain briefly suspended his campaign to work on the economic bailout package and even threatened to sit out the first presidential debate. 

Obama teased him for it, and after a mid-week summit with President Bush, congressional leaders and the presidential candidates ended in disarray, his Democratic supporters criticized McCain for “injecting” presidential politics into the debate. 

Before the inter-campaign sniping began, the two presidential nominees released a joint statement urging the nation to “rise above politics for the good of the country.” 

Goldfarb said he can’t speculate on the content of the advice Obama solicited in late September but that, “The result was to sit back and do nothing.” 

Former Hillary Clinton adviser Maria Cardona said Clinton was genuinely trying to pay Obama a compliment Wednesday night, especially after so much was made in the press of the divisions between Obama and Clinton supporters. 

“President Clinton was trying to make the point that their campaigns are actually talking to one another quite a bit,” she told FOX News. “The point that President Clinton was trying to make is that Senator Obama understands this is a big issue, and he is surrounding himself with people who have that experience.” 

Bill Clinton has come out forcefully in favor of Obama ever since the Democratic National Convention in late August in Denver. 

He declared Wednesday night that, “This man should be our president.” 

However, he sometimes has had a strange way of showing his support. Clinton has repeatedly praised McCain in interviews, and even described Sarah Palin at one point as an “effective candidate with a compelling story” who cannot be underestimated. 

Clinton also said in Florida Wednesday night that Obama has proved himself by running a campaign that “involves so many people,” adding: “He has executed this campaign in a way that is different from modern and forward thinking — something no one else ever could have done. He can be the chief executor of good intentions as president.” 

It’s not clear what he meant, since he pronounced the word ‘executer.’ 

Asked about Clinton’s intentions Wednesday, Goldfarb said: “I think … he clearly chooses his language carefully.”

Liberal Left Tries To Blame Bush For Financial Warnings Being Dismissed

Got to love the spin, They were thwarted by the “Bush Administration”, however John Hawke Jr, Comptroller of Currency, was a leftover of Clinton. I would not classify his as part of the Bush Administration.

The Comptroller of Currency serves 5 year terms. Hawke was appointed in 1998, so Bush was stuck with him. Now remember this whole crisis dates back to the Clinton Administration and it would only be logical to believe Clinton’s Comptroller would think nothing was wrong as that was the liberal line, nothing to see here, keep moving.

Bush administration, financial industry thwarted efforts to curb greed

More than five years ago, in April 2003, the attorneys general of two small states traveled to Washington with a stern warning for the nation’s top bank regulator. Sitting in the spacious Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, with its panoramic view of the capital, the AGs from North Carolina and Iowa said lenders were pushing increasingly risky mortgages. Their host, John D. Hawke Jr., expressed skepticism.

Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Tom Miller of Iowa headed a committee of state officials concerned about new forms of “predatory” lending. They urged Hawke to give states more latitude to limit exorbitant interest rates and fine-print fees. “People out there are struggling with oppressive loans,” Cooper recalls saying.

Hawke, a veteran banking industry lawyer appointed to head the OCC by President Bill Clinton in 1998, wouldn’t budge. He said he would reinforce federal policies that hindered states from reining in lenders. The AGs left the tense hour-long meeting realizing that Washington had become a foe in the nascent fight against reckless real estate finance. The OCC “took 50 sheriffs off the job during the time the mortgage lending industry was becoming the Wild West,” Cooper says.

This was but one of many instances of state posses sounding early alarms about the irresponsible lending at the heart of the current financial crisis. Federal officials brushed aside their concerns. The OCC and its sister agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), instead sided with lenders. The beneficiaries ranged from now-defunct subprime factories, such as First Franklin Financial, to a savings and loan owned by Lehman Brothers, the collapsed investment bank.

Some states, including North Carolina and Georgia, passed laws aimed at deterring rash loans only to have federal authorities undercut them. In Iowa and other states, mortgage mills arranged to be acquired by nationally regulated banks and in the process fended off more-assertive state supervision. In Ohio the story took a different twist: State lawmakers acting at the behest of lenders squelched an attempt by the Cleveland City Council to slow the subprime frenzy.

A number of factors contributed to the mortgage disaster and credit crunch. Interest rate cuts and unprecedented foreign capital infusions fueled thoughtless lending on Main Street and arrogant gambling on Wall Street. The trading of esoteric derivatives amplified risks it was supposed to mute.

One cause, though, has been largely overlooked: the stifling of prescient state enforcers and legislators who tried to contain the greed and foolishness. They were thwarted in many cases by Washington officials hostile to regulation and a financial industry adept at exploiting this ideology.

The Bush Administration and many banks clung to what is known as “preemption.” It is a legal doctrine that can be invoked in court and at the rulemaking table to assert that, when federal and state authority over business conflict, the feds prevail — even if it means little or no regulation.

‘Fundamental disagreement’
“There is no question that preemption was a significant contributor to the subprime meltdown,” says Kathleen E. Keest, a former assistant attorney general in Iowa who now works for the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit in Durham, N.C. “It pushed aside state laws and state law enforcement that would have sent the message that there were still standards in place, and it was a big part of the message to the industry that it could regulate itself without rules.”

“That’s bull—-,” says Hawke, the former comptroller. He returned to private law practice in late 2004 with the prominent Washington firm Arnold & Porter. Once again representing lenders as clients, he confirms the substance and tone of the April 2003 meeting with the state AGs, saying they “simply had a fundamental disagreement.” But he denies that federal preemption played a role in the subprime debacle.

Hawke blames much of the mess on mortgage brokers and originators who, he says, were the responsibility of states. “I can understand why state AGs would try to offload some responsibility here,” he adds. “It’s important to remember when people are trying to assign blame here that the courts uniformly upheld our position.”

His arguments have some merit. The federal judiciary has bolstered preemption in the name of uniform national rules, not just for banks but also for manufacturers of drugs and consumer products. And state oversight alone is no panacea, as the chaotic state-regulated insurance market illustrates. Inadequate supervision of mortgage companies in some states contributed to the subprime explosion. But the hands-off signals sent from Washington only invited complacency. When some state officials fired warning flares, the Administration doused them.

Consider a clash in 2004 between the OCC and regulators in Michigan. In January of that year attorneys working for Hawke filed a brief in federal court in Grand Rapids on behalf of Wachovia, the national bank with $800 billion in assets based in Charlotte, N.C. Michigan wanted to continue to examine a Wachovia-controlled mortgage unit in the state, which the bank had converted to a wholly owned subsidiary. The parent bank sued, claiming Michigan could no longer look at the mortgage lender’s books. Citing the threat of unspecified “hostile state interests,” the OCC argued in its brief that “states are not at liberty to obstruct, impair, or condition the exercise of national bank powers, including those powers exercised through an operating subsidiary.”

Michigan countered that Wachovia Mortgage was not itself a national bank. The Constitution preserves state authority to protect its residents when federal statutes don’t explicitly bar such regulation, Michigan contended. Ken Ross, the state’s top financial regulator, says his department fought Wachovia all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in part because it feared a growing subprime mortgage problem: “We knew there needed to be [state] regulation in place or there could be gaps.” The OCC, he adds, “did not have robust regulatory provisions over these operating subsidiaries.”

The nation’s highest court sided with the Bush Administration, ruling in April 2007 that the OCC had exclusive authority over Wachovia Mortgage. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for a five-member majority, pointed to the potential burdens on mortgage lending if there were “duplicative state examination, supervision, and regulation.” In a dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens said that it is “especially troubling that the court so blithely preempts Michigan laws designed to protect consumers.”

By the time of the Supreme Court decision last year, Wachovia and its mortgage operations in Michigan and elsewhere were feeling the ill effects of unwise lending. As real estate prices continued to fall this year, pushing many borrowers into default, Wachovia teetered on the edge of failure. In late September the federal government stepped in to arrange a fire sale. On Friday, federal antitrust regulators cleared Wells Fargo’s $11.7 billion acquisition of Wachovia, a day after Citigroup Inc. walked away from its own efforts to buy the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank.

Confrontations such as Michigan’s battle with Wachovia became far more common after George W. Bush took over the White House in 2001 and instituted a broad deregulatory agenda. The OCC, an arm of the Treasury Dept., has adhered closely to it. The agency oversees more than 1,700 federally chartered banks, controlling two-thirds of all U.S. commercial bank assets. Historically, its examiners have monitored bank capital levels and lending to corporations more attentively than they have the treatment of individual borrowers. “Consumer protection has always been an orphan [among federal bank regulators],” says Adam J. Levitin, a commercial law scholar at Georgetown University Law Center.

The OCC brought 495 enforcement actions against national banks from 2000 through 2006. Thirteen of those actions were consumer-related. Only one involved subprime mortgage lending. OCC spokesman Robert Garsson says the figures could be misinterpreted because the agency addresses many problems informally during bank examinations. He declined to provide any examples.

Beyond the influence of free-market theory, turf concerns have reinforced the Administration’s determination to exercise responsibility for as many lenders as possible — and prevent state incursions, notes Arthur E. Wilmarth Jr., a professor at George Washington University Law School. Almost all of the funding for the OCC and OTS comes from fees paid by nationally chartered institutions.

The fight in Georgia
Hawke says the OCC seeks only to exercise powers that it has long held under federal law. It is far more efficient for national banks to deal with one set of federal rules than a hodgepodge of state directives, he argues, echoing the Supreme Court’s majority view. By the late 1990s, he adds, more state legislatures and AGs were trying to bully national banks by, for example, restricting ATM fees charged to nondepositors. State officials “found it politically advantageous to assert these kinds of initiatives,” he says. The OCC’s heightened preemption campaign “was occasioned by the fact the states were becoming more aggressive.”

The current head of the OCC, John C. Dugan, concurs. “To claim that it is our fault from preemption is just a total smokescreen to shield the fact that the state mortgage brokers and mortgage companies were just not regulated,” Dugan says.

Efforts in Georgia to rein in unwise lending provoked a particularly fierce federal reaction. In 2002 the state passed a law that imposed “assignee liability” on the mortgage-finance process. Understanding the significance of this requires a little background.

One of the forces that accelerated the proliferation of dangerous home loans was the Wall Street business of buying up millions of mortgages, bundling them into bonds, and selling the securities to pension funds and other investors. Securitization, which grew to a $7 trillion industry, meant the lenders could pass along the risk of default to a huge universe of investors. Many of those investors, in turn, relied uncritically on reassurances from fee-collecting investment banks and ratings agencies that mortgage-backed securities were high-quality. When many of the reassurances proved hollow, the securitization market collapsed this year.

Assignee liability would radically reshape that market by making everyone involved potentially responsible when things go bad. Investment banks that created mortgage-backed securities and investors who bought them would be liable for financial damage if mortgages turned out to be fraudulent. The financial industry opposed assignee liability, maintaining that it would cripple the market for asset-backed securities. Major ratings agencies later agreed that allowing unlimited damages would be disruptive. The agencies threatened to stop evaluating many bonds tied to mortgages covered by the Georgia law.

But some banking experts speculate that if Georgia’s example had spurred more states to adopt broad assignee liability, greater caution would have prevailed in the mortgage-securities market, possibly preventing the blowups of Lehman, Bear Stearns, and other once-mighty institutions. “If the Georgia law had held, it is possible that other states would have followed and there might have been change earlier,” says Ellen Seidman, who headed the OTS from 1997 through 2001.

‘Outgunned’ advocates
Roy Barnes, Georgia’s governor in 2002, understood the potential significance of assignee liability when he signed the state’s new Fair Lending Act that year. He recalls a breakfast meeting with banking lobbyists during which he admonished the industry to clean up reckless lending. He jokingly threatened to hire “the longest-haired, sandal-wearing bank commissioner you ever saw.” But the bankers fought back, seeking to undermine the new law.

The OCC’s Hawke assisted the industry by issuing a ruling in July 2003 saying the Georgia law did not apply to national banks or their subsidiaries. A fact sheet prepared at the time — and still available on the OCC’s Web site — says: “There is no evidence of predatory lending by national banks or their operating subsidiaries, in Georgia or elsewhere.”

The OCC ruling had been requested by Cleveland-based National City Bank on behalf of several of its units, including First Franklin Financial, a subprime lender that operated in Georgia and other states. First Franklin, which was acquired by Merrill Lynch in 2006, has been hit with dozens of suits alleging unfair lending practices. Merrill shut down First Franklin’s troubled lending business in March. Itself hobbled by mortgage-securities losses, Merrill agreed last month to be acquired by Bank of America. The bank and Merrill declined to comment.

In August 2004, Hawke went a step further in a letter to the Georgia Banking Dept. He said even state-chartered mortgage brokers and lenders were exempt from the Georgia law — if the loans they handled were funded at closing by a national bank or its subsidiary.

By then support for the Georgia law was already eroding. Barnes, a Democrat, lost his reelection campaign in November 2002, and his Republican successor moved to dilute the lending act. Still, supporters mobilized to defend the legislation. One was William J. Brennan Jr., an Atlanta legal aid attorney who specializes in housing and had testified before the U.S. Congress in 2000 about what he saw as the looming mortgage mess. He told the House Financial Services Committee: “The entry of many prominent national banks into the subprime mortgage-lending business has resulted not in reform, but in the expansion of the abusive practices.” Federal regulators, he testified, “have done little to stop” the trend. In early 2003, Brennan and a legal aid colleague, Karen E. Brown, consulted with Georgia legislators trying to block amendments softening the lending law. At a hearing in February, Brennan requested a police escort because he feared that angry mortgage brokers would block his way. “The words that come to mind are ‘outgunned’ and ‘overwhelmed,’ ” says Brown.

The Georgia legislature sharply curtailed the assignee liability provision in March 2003 and eliminated other elements of the law as well. Subprime lenders such as Ameriquest Mortgage that had halted lending in Georgia in protest of the law resumed marketing high-interest, high-fee mortgages. But by late 2007, Ameriquest had gone out of business after agreeing to a $325 million settlement to resolve suits alleging that it had made fraudulent loans.

Escaping state enforcement
Georgia now has the sixth-highest rate of foreclosure in the country. Consumer advocates and state attorneys general contend the weakening of the state’s law was a severe blow to efforts to curb careless lending. “Had the Georgia Fair Lending Act not been watered down, we would be in a very different place right now,” says Brown.

In some states, dubious local mortgage firms sold themselves to national banks, gaining protection against state enforcement. The Iowa Division of Banking in 2006 sought to examine a subprime broker called Okoboji Mortgage in the town of Arnolds Park. A borrower had accused the firm (named for an area lake) of duplicitous lending practices. Cheryl Riley, a 52-year-old janitor, told state officials she had not received the 30-yearfixed-rate mortgage she thought she had arranged with Okoboji in 2005. Instead of one monthly statement, Riley got two: one for a 9.25 percent adjustable-rate loan and another for a 15-year fixed loan at 12 percent. Both rates were far higher than what Riley and her husband thought they had negotiated. “We were horrified,” she says.

A preliminary state investigation found that Okoboji’s manager had headed a mortgage firm in Nebraska that lost its license for falsifying loan documents. But Okoboji refused Iowa’s demand for an examination, forcing the agency to file suit in August 2006. Okoboji responded by announcing that it had been acquired by Wells Fargo, a nationally chartered bank regulated by the OCC. Okoboji handed in its state license, saying it no longer had to comply with Iowa rules. “We’d had red flags but were now blocked from investigating,” says Shauna Shields, an Iowa assistant AG.

Okoboji’s former manager, Lyda Neuhaus, calls Nebraska’s earlier actions “a witch hunt” based on “12 miserable complaints.” Her father, Juan Alonso, who owned Okoboji, says he sold his company because he wanted to retire, not to escape state regulation. Both deny any wrongdoing. A Wells Fargo spokesman declined to comment on Iowa’s concern about Okoboji and defended the acquisition as benefiting customers and shareholders.

A playing field with no rules
The experience with Okoboji was the sort of thing that Iowa AG Miller had warned about when he joined his counterpart from North Carolina on their visit to OCC chief Hawke in 2003. “Now, we could not do anything with federally chartered banks or subsidiaries,” Miller says. In 2006 and 2007 the Iowa legislature shot down proposals by Miller for more-restrictive lending laws. Lax regulatory standards at the federal level helped undermine his efforts, he explains. State-chartered banks insisted that tougher rules in Iowa would put them at a competitive disadvantage with federally chartered banks overseen by the OCC. “We had to acknowledge the [political]environment we were in,” Miller says.

The banking industry repeated the argument for regulatory “parity” in many states that tried and failed to tighten supervision of subprime lenders, says Keest of the Center for Responsible Lending: “State institutions then wanted a level playing field, which was a playing field with no rules.”

Hawke says that it would have been inappropriate for the states to impose more-stringent standards on federally chartered institutions: “Had they tried to apply those rules to national banks, they clearly would have been preempted.”

In Cleveland in 2002, Frank G. Jackson, then a member of the City Council, could see that many lower-income residents were being persuaded by lenders to pile on high-interest debt. “It was pure greed, based on exploitation,” he says. “[Some subprime lending] is just the same as organized crime.” He started negotiating with mortgage lenders for more-favorable terms. To his surprise, the lenders bypassed him and persuaded the state legislature to enact a less stringent version of an anti-predatory lending act he was drafting. “I figured the good faith had ended, so I passed my law [at the city level],” Jackson says. That law required lenders to register with the city and provided counseling to prospective borrowers.

His accomplishment was short-lived. That same year, the American Financial Services Assn. (AFSA), a national trade group, sued to block Ohio municipalities from passing lending laws that conflicted with state statutes. The Ohio Supreme Court later sided with the industry. AFSA’s goal was to ward off conflicts between federal, state, and local rules, says spokesman Bill Himpler. “Different municipalities moving different anti-predatory lending legislation … would have brought the credit markets to a screeching halt.”

Fulfilling Jackson’s fears, the Cleveland area has become one of the places worst hit by the mortgage catastrophe. More than 80,000 homes have gone into foreclosure since 2000, the highest per capita rate in the country.

In January, Jackson, elected the city’s mayor in 2005, tried a new tactic. He filed suit in state court against Lehman, Wells Fargo, and 19 other lenders, alleging that they sold “toxic subprime mortgages … under circumstances that made the resulting spike in foreclosures a foreseeable and inevitable result.” The city’s attorneys based the suit on an Ohio law banning “public nuisances,” which is usually used against defendants such as manufacturers whose factories emit pollution. The idea was to steer clear of conventional banking law and head off any claim of federal preemption. The suit is pending; the banks all deny wrongdoing.

Bill Clinton For McCain???

Something I never thought I would see, Bill Clinton supporting John McCain going back to Washington.

…and placing the blame on the Democrats… Then again maybe he is just still mad over the racism charges and snubbing of Hillary as Obama’s VP pick…

Three New Navy Ships

 

USS REAGAN 

Seeing it next to the Arizona Memorial really puts its size into perspective… ENORMOUS!

 

USS Reagan

USS Reagan

When the Bridge pipes ‘ Man the Rail’ there is a lot of rail to man on this monster: shoulder to shoulder, around 4.5 acres.  Her displacement is about 100,000 tons with full complement.   

Capability

Top speed exceeds 30 knots, powered by two nuclear reactors that can operate for more than 20 years without refueling

1. Expected to operate in the fleet for about 50 years 

2. Carries over 80 combat aircraft  

3. Three arresting cables can stop a 28-ton aircraft going 150 miles per hour in less than 400 feet 

Size

1. Towers 20 stories above the waterline 

2. 1092 feet long; nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall 

3.  Flight deck covers 4.5 acres

4.  4 bronze propellers, each 21 feet across, weighing 66,200  pounds

5.  2 rudders, each 29 by 22 feet and weighing 50 tons

6.  4 high speed aircraft elevators, each over 4,000 square feet   

Capacity 

1. Home to about 6,000 Navy personnel  

2. Carries enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days

3.  18,150 meals served daily

4.  Distillation plants provide 400,000 gallons of fresh water from sea water daily, enough for 2,000 homes

5.  Nearly 30,000 light fixtures and 1,325 miles of cable and wiring 1,400 telephones

6.  14,000 pillowcases and 28,000 sheets

7.  Costs the Navy approximately $250,000 per day for pier side operation  

8.  Costs the Navy approximately $25 million per da y for underway operations (Sailor’s salaries included). 

USS BILL CLINTON 

The USS William Jefferson Clinton (CVS1) set sail today from its home port of Vancouver, BC.

 

USS Clinton

USS Clinton

The ship is the first of its kind in the Navy and is a standing legacy to President Bill Clinton ‘for his foresight in military budget cuts’ and his conduct while holding the (formerly dignified) office of President. 

The ship is constructed nearly entirely from recycled aluminum and is completely solar powered with a top speed of 5 knots.

It boasts an arsenal comprised of one (unarmed) F14 Tomcat or one (unarmed) F18 Hornet aircraft which, although they cannot be launched on the 100 foot flight deck, form a very menacing presence. 

As a standing order there are no firearms allowed on board.

This crew, like the crew aboard the USS Jimmy Carter, is specially trained to avoid conflicts and appease any and all enemies of the United States at all costs  

An onboard Type One DNC Universal Translator can send out messages of apology in any language to anyone who may find America offensive.  The number of apologies are limitless and though some may seem hollow and disingenuous, the Navy advises all apologies will sound very sincere.   

In times of conflict, the USS Clinton has orders to seek refuge in Canada . 

USS  BARACK OBAMA

No words are necessary 

 

USS Obama

USS Obama

Clintons Invade 2008 DNC Convention

Well I wrote about a possible Clinton upset at the convention and having her become the Democratic candidate to go against McCain… Well it looks one step closer. In what appears to be a gracious move on the behalf of Barack Obama lies the footwork for the Clinton Spoiler… Never before has a loosing candidate who “suspended” their campaign had soooooooo much influence at the convention. And it is not just Hillary, Bill and Chelsea are joining in on the fun.

Now even if this is not a Clinton spoiler it shows the desperation of the Obama camp, there is a deep divide in the Democratic Party and if he cannot get the Clinton Supporters to come over he has lost the General Electioin. This is a desparation move and could prove fatal to Barack.

The Democratic National Convention is shaping into quite some party for Hillary Clinton.

Her name will be placed into nomination. She’ll give a prime-time address, introduced by her daughter Chelsea. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will get his own plum speaking slot on a separate night. She will also have her own production team to create the introductory video that precedes her speech – the same people who produced Bill Clinton’s biography video “The Man from Hope” in 1992.

And, there’s now language in the party’s platform that refers to the “18 million cracks in the highest glass ceiling,” and suggests that media sexism contributed to Hillary’s defeat. All this makes it easy to forget that Hillary Clinton is the loser.

Barack Obama and Clinton say they agreed to put both of their names into nomination after weeks of negotiating. It’s meant to help unite the party and head off potential embarrassing problems at the convention from Hillary supporters. You can bet Obama wants a drama-free convention and sees this laundry list of concessions as a way of keeping the peace.

Others suggest this amounts to little more than extortion. One expert says the Clintons have “got Obama hostage and are exacting their ransom” with all of these convention demands. New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin writes that “Obama blinked and stands guilty of appeasing Clinton”. He points out by giving in to her, Obama doesn’t stand to get any votes he wouldn’t have gotten anyway, and that those who refuse to accept him as the legitimate winner probably won’t change their minds because he’s caved in.

If he can’t stand up to Hillary, how’s he going to fare against Vladimir Putin?
Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the convention, has Barack Obama let Hillary Clinton take over?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Diane from Florida writes:
Jack, Can you imagine if the shoe were on the other foot? If Hillary had won the nomination and Obama were asking to have his delegation recognized? Do you really think that Michelle would be speaking one night introduced by the Obama daughters and Barack would have a speaking engagement the next night? Not on your life! Bill and Hillary would have mowed Obama down in a heartbeat, and they still might try.

Martha writes:
It’s people like you, Jack, who forget she is not a loser. She earned 18 million votes. Why don’t you stop with your stupid questions and always trying to put the Clintons down? Show some respect. She absolutely has earned the right to be acknowledged at the convention and with any luck the voters will get it right this time.

B. from Odom, Texas writes:
I think Sen. Obama is being exceedingly gracious to Sen. Clinton. The majority of your viewers, including me, believe she and Bill are up to no good. I hope we are wrong. I sincerely hope Mr. Obama has all his bases covered. I for one cannot wait for all this intrigue and drama to be over.

Tony from Stafford, Virginia writes:
You didn’t really think that Hillary Clinton was just going to lie down and give up, did you? Silly, silly people. Have you learned nothing about the Clintons in the past 16 years?

Jay writes:
Barack Obama is the nominee, period. There is no takeover. The media are just circulating the RNC’s talking points with this controversy garbage.

Brian from Chicago writes:
If all goes well, history will remember Obama for being a pragmatic leader who successfully unified the Democratic Party. However, I will point out that Hillary Clinton’s campaign has not ended. It has been suspended. Why is that? And is it possible for a campaign to un-suspend upon the unsuspecting?