Monday, September 15, 2008

The Blame is not always on the GOP

This morning Douglas Turner of the Buffalo News provides a scathing attack on none other than the Democratic VP Nominee Sen. Joseph Biden and former Democratic Presidential hopeful, Sen. Chris Dodd regarding the Mortgage and Banking crisis.

What is astonishing is the Buffalo News has always been a left leaning paper, but as this election cycle has move forward I am finding it to becoming more despondent with the Democratic planks and becoming more centrist.

I will post the Op-Ed piece in its entirety, since the online version sometimes goes behind registration.

WASHINGTON — Two years ago, voters reacted strongly
against a Republican Congress that blithely blessed a disastrous pre-emptive war
and was the most corrupt since the post-Civil War Reconstruction days.
What we got in exchange is a Democratic Congress that is only marginally less
crooked, that still fosters the Iraq war and whose leaders are just plain inept.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., for instance. If the next Senate stays Democratic, he ought to be ousted as majority leader. Reid has not even been able to replace Sen. Joe Lieberman, Independent Democrat of Connecticut, as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee as just punishment for campaigning with the Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Worse, Reid llowed two important committee chairmen to play hooky for a year while their issues allowed. One, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del., is running as vice president in order to lend supposed strength to the Barack Obama ticket on overseas issues. In the chairman’s saddle 19 months, the eternally grinning Biden has called his very first hearing on Russia for Wednesday.

Pathetic. Dictator Vladimir Putin has been signaling for more than two years
that he intended to menace former Soviet satellites like Poland and Ukraine.
Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., has behaved even more outrageously. He’s the
fast-talking chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which has been looking
the other way while the government has bailed out one slimy securities operation
after another.
The best-known effect of his seniority on that panel is his getting favorable mortgage terms from a troubled bank. The recipient of massive campaign gifts from the securities industry, Dodd stayed with his delusional campaign for president while the mortgage market and the banking industry tanked.

Thanks in large part to Dodd, the government has been blind-sided by the troubles of two huge g overnment-sponsored entities, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These are backstops for bankers who profited handsomely on mortgages they sold to borrowers who could not pay them back. Estimates of the cost to taxpayers of the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bailouts range from zero to $300 billion. Little is said about two former high-ranking Clinton administration officials, Franklin D. Raines and Jamie Gorelick, who got paid $52 million and $26 million, respectively, at Fannie Mae while the agency cooked its books.

The Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N. Y., sounded the alarm about the two big agencies a full year ago. But the committee’s findings are advisory. Dodd himself ran a hearing on Freddie and Fannie last March. There, a spokesman for the Mortgage Bankers Association urged passage of laws mandating a complete overhaul and stringent oversight of the two agencies. But Dodd walked off to the hustings and the talk shows.

This marks the second time in a generation that a Democratic

Congress looked aside while banks were bailed out at taxpayer expense. The 1980s
savings-and-loan bailout cost taxpayers more than $130 billion.

The explanation is easy. Since 1990, the financial industry has spent at least $900
million on campaign gifts to federal candidates of both parties. Since 1998, the
banks, insurance and securities industry has spent $3.2 billion lobbying the

And they got what they paid for: Your tax money!

An assessment of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., must wait for another day. For now, let it suffice to say she is looking favorably on a $50 billion bailout for the Big Three U. S. automakers, whose CEOs are getting upwards of $17 million apiece.

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