“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

New York Times, 1999, on Fannie Mae Lending to Minorities.

Hat tip: American Thinker


Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

By STEVEN A. HOLMES New York Times
Published: September 30, 1999

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.

In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.


  1. McCain says he will name name and make them famous over earmarks. Here is his big chance to get some practice.

  2. He just voted for a Hugely Earmarked Bill.

  3. Look, you're making the same mistake that John's making. You're assuming (against all evidence to the contrary) that the Public is against "earmarks."

  4. I do not care about earmarks. I want McCain to quit talking about them and get at Obama for his associations and the Democrats in general. There is nothing left for him to discuss. He can win if he hammers these points home.

  5. Look, you win elections by running to the "edge" in primaries, and running "to the center" in the election.

    John ran to the center in the primary (and, was bailled out by cross-over voting in N.H, and Fl) and is, now, running to the edge in the General.

    He's a stubborn, old man that I really do not believe wants to be President. It seems to me he want to "Run," and hear himself give speeches.

    Why in the hell would a man who, absolutely, HAS TO HAVE the farm vote in Mo., Ohio, Indiana, and Colorado spend a week running around the country sticking his finger in Farmers' eyes?

    It's Bizarre.

  6. The earmarks are a symptom of the corruption. The very fact that these bastards had the gall to attach earmarks to the bailout bill is evidence that they think they're untouchables.

    I know that earmarks are an insignificant portion of the budget but are we supposed to ignore someone picking our pockets.

    I am very aware that people vote their own self-interests and principles be damned.

    Hogs just want to get all the slop, too.

  7. People just don't see it that way, Whit. They see it as Money "coming home."

    Even if it's a "Wool Museum" in another state they see it as "at least the damned government's doing Something Useful with the Money.

    What they Don't Like is giving their money to "Wall Stree Fat Cats." And, right now, the Republicans, rightly or wrongly, "OWN" that giveaway.

  8. I know I'm pissing all over a good, locally popular, rant, here; but, if you want to do something that has a, very unlikely, but, at least, possible chance of working start a letter-writing, e-mailin, phone-calling campaign to the McCain Campaign, and tell them to get off the idiot earmarks, anti-ethanol soundbytes, and start talking about things people "want to hear."

  9. I want McCain to quit talking about them and get at Obama for his associations and the Democrats in general.

    He can't do it, remember he's the moderate who can reach across "the aisle to get things done."

    How can he now go partisan and point out the corruption and hypocrisy of Democrats and expect them to work with him?

    Everyone seems to have forgotten that George W. Bush went to Washington saying he was "a uniter, not a divider." Look where that got him. He quickly learned that he had to go along to get along and he'll leave D.C. with plenty of battle scars.

    McCain will face the same crowd of unprincipled, thuggish hacks who will do and say whatever it takes to win.

  10. Chi-town Rules.

    They both can play guilt by association, McCain will come off worse than Obama, truth be known.
    The poor associations are closer to home, fer sur.

    That is why they have not gone there. If they start now, they'll sink Cindy with a broadside to her drug addiction and criminal cover-up. Papa Hensley for all he's ever done, the Choice Bank story and on and on and on.

    Talk about greed and corruption, the Hensley/McCain clan, they take the cake.

  11. Hell, the Good News is, a lot of (probably, most of) us made money during the Carter Administration. As "screwed up" as it was.

  12. You want to see what your idiot "maverick" was doing Oct 1 in MISSOURI!?!

    You're telling me "This Man" wants to be President?

  13. McCain's all that stands between us and the chaos of Obama. He's not responsible for the earlier behavior of his current wife's family, bad as that may be.

    He's an odd guy. Likeable in lots of ways, odd in some. Compared to Obama he looks like a savior to me.

  14. Most people like their own congressman. Otherwise he wouldn't be in office. Ruf's right, people like to see some money 'come home'.
    McCain's got himself wrong with the farm states, like Rufus says, and he'd been better off opposing this bailout bill, even if he knew it was necessary, since it was going to pass anyway, I believe. This financial stuff came along at the worst time, almost as if pre-planned. But, I'm not convinced by every conspiracy theory that comes down the path.

    Obama's a marxist, and a muslim sympathizer, an odd combo. That ought to be enough.

  15. deuce, you mentioned you had spoken recently with a lawyer in Pennslyvania, I think. I also recall you mentioning you suspected Obama really might have been born in Kenya, as I do. As the fellow Berg, who filed the ill written lawsuit challenging Obama's eligibility to be President was from Pennslyvania, and I think the case was filed there, I was wondering if your guy might have mentioned the case and its prospects?

  16. And, don't forget, the Republicans have "Run" for the last 8 years on the "Ownership" Society (as in "Home" Ownership.)

  17. Rufus, where are the studies mentioned in the article you linked above? Only real studies I have seen clearly demonstrate that ethanol subsidies have driven food prices higher, as anyone with a basic understanding of economics would expect. Remember, i grew up on a farm in the Mississippi Delta. Those farmers (predominantly large scale operators just like Midwestern grain farmers) KNOW they are welfare recipients and wouldn't be in business otherwise. Ethanol subsidies are "icing on the cake" in comparison to the price support guarantees in every farm bill. They are also, for the most part, despite being dole recipients, primarily social and fiscal conservatives and will not vote for Obama on principle. So, I think your premise that McCain is costing himself votes is fundamentally flawed.

  18. People in the farm states aren't stupid. They see THIS - click on the date until the latest dates come to the top

    And, they see THIS,

    and, they Know John McCain's full of shit.

  19. Just to clarify - So, I think your premise that McCain's anti-ethanol subsidy rhetoric costs him votes is fundamentally flawed.

  20. ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is accusing Democrat Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists" for his association with a former 1960s radical.
    Palin was referring to Bill Ayers, one of the founders of the group the Weather Underground. The group took credit for bombings, including nonfatal explosions at the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol four decades ago.

    In remarks to GOP donors in Englewood, Colo., on Saturday, Palin said Obama seems to see the U.S. as being so imperfect that, in her words, "he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."

    Let Sarah Palin run the campaign.

  21. Those price charts are not analyses. Sorry but I'm not stupid either, and they don't explain shit to me.

  22. Well, the polls in Iowa definitely show that many are thinking of voting for Obama, on principle or not.

    I agree though with you jwillie, from what I know it seems usually the farmers will take the federal money and vote conservative anyway. Even though the democrats are often more supportive of farm subsidies than republicans.

    The Wall Street Journal has been writing editorials against farm subsidies my entire life.

  23. You also don't address the fundamental conflict in your premise - that fiscal, social conservative farmers are going to vote for a fiscal, social liberal, aka a radical socialist whose most influential associations are terrorists and liberal anti-Christian "Christian-in-name-only" theologists.

  24. Willie, corn has come down from about $7.80/bu to $4.54/bushel. Have you seen food prices "come down?"

    An example would be: A semi-load of corn flakes has about $280.00 worth of corn imbedded in it. It has about $800.00 worth of diesel fuel.

    The USDA figures we used a little more than 2% of the Global Grains Crop for ethanol, which might have increased food costs by about 2%.

    Meantime, we've lowered transportation fuel cost in this country by about $70 BILLION/Yr.

    Oh, and thanks to a $4 billion ethanol subsidy we DID NOT pay out $11 Billion in Price Supports last year.

  25. Bobal, that's right and McCain's campaign is banking on that fundamental historical fact to persist. Assuming it will, he pursues the incremental independent votes attainable via the anti-ethanol rhetoric. Even the MSM has accepted that ethanol subsidies drive up food prices.

  26. Rufus, those types of price changes are what economists call "sticky". They move quickly up and slowly down, as the intermediate links in the distribution change resist the downward move as long as possible to extract the temporarily available higher margins.

  27. But, due to the competitive nature of those commodity and commodity-linked markets, it is inevitable that the price declines WILL be reflected in the retail prices for food.

  28. So, and back to the point Deuce makes, this ethanol stuff is a non-issue; McCain needs to cut out this bi-partisan BS and nail Obama to the fucking wall for what he really is. As Bobal says, McCain aint perfect, but he is FAR preferable to Obama. And will provide Sarah with the real on-the-job training she needs to run in 2012.

  29. The thing is the MSM does not know, And the Farmers Do, is that a pound of beef only contains 2.6 lbs of corn, and that corn only went from about $0.05/lb to $0.14/lb, and back to about $0.08/lb.

    SO, round-trip, a pound of beef is up about 7.8 cents, corn content. And, the 700,000 BARRELS/DAY of ethanol is lowering your gasoline bill by about $20.00/mo.

  30. Tired of politics?

    This will take your mind off the price of corn.

    Long article, interesting, and, I don't pretend to understand a word of it.

    But, man can't live by theory alone....back to politics and the price of corn.

  31. We were at $3.08 a gallon here today, at the Casino station.

  32. Besides, you totally missed my premise. My premise is that McCain doesn't "Really" want to be President. No politician in his right mind would do the things he's doing if he "Truly" wanted to be elected (this means "carry" Mo., Ohio, In, Co. NM, Fl, etc.)

    BUT, I'm sure you're right. Those rural voters in the farm states will come out and support him just like they did Dubya. (Despite what they're telling Rasmussen.)

  33. The Polls are Wrong. Our Guy will win. You Betcha.

    The "Bradley Effect" will save us.

  34. Obama and Biden are orthodox liberals. They're for raising taxes, federally funding abortions, naming activist judges, and losing wars.

    Can They Catch Up? Of Course

    Vell, maybe.

  35. “It’s like a giant morning-after pill,” said one House Republican


    Amended Rescue Allows Buyout of Other Bad Decisions

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    (2008-10-03) — The revised version of the Bush administration’s financial-sector rescue bill, passed by the Senate this week with hundreds of new pages of ’sweeteners’, faces almost certain approval in the House today thanks to an amendment that would allow the federal government to shield Americans from the consequences of other bad decisions.

    The legislation, as it emerged from the Senate, currently protects…

    foolish homeowners,
    the predatory lenders who extended them credit,
    the irresponsible Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) who backed those loans,
    the regulators who failed to crack down on law breakers, and
    the politically-correct Congressmen who mandated risky loans to achieve ‘affordable housing’ for racial minorities.
    The amended version, hitting the House floor today, also puts the U.S. taxpayer on the hook for guarding fellow citizens from the consequences of other decisions that lead to unpleasant results.

    “It’s like a giant morning-after pill,” said one House Republican who opposed the initial bill but plans to support the new package. “From now on, when you do something stupid, you just pop the pill, purge and flush…the federal government takes care of the rest.”

    “Americans have the right to the pursuit of happiness,” the unnamed lawmaker said, “but the Founders didn’t go far enough. We don’t just want to pursue happiness, we want a guarantee that we’ll catch it and that we won’t get hurt if we stumble, or we pursue it in the wrong direction.”

    The 7,658-page amended bill includes tax-funded bailouts for the following…

    College students and others who say, “Just one more drink”
    Young men who tell their girlfriends, “Of course I love you”
    Young women who believe it when their boyfriends say, “Of course I love you”
    Husbands who say, “My wife won’t mind”
    Kids who say, “My parents will never know”
    Politicians who say “If you vote for me, I promise…”

  36. chew on this..."last night Ken Rogoff, the former chief economist at the IMF, claimed that America’s rescue package would not work. He said that the $700bn pledged to buy up “toxic debt” fell short of the $2,000bn needed."

  37. It is a electoral scam, this bailout.

    They all supported it, left, right and middle.

    It will not work, as predicted, the unintended consequences will be huge.

    A travesty, not a farce, not at all.

    Wonder what we can get for Yosemite?

    two trillion is just the beginning of this, not even the end.

    Now the Dow Industrials dropped 157.47 of 1.5%.

    Is the "Bailout Bill" to blame. Blane was attribbuted to the Bills failure, previously, for the market dropping. By the same logic, the bailout's passing cost the US economy all of the gains since its' failure.

    Actually it's a tad lower, now, than after it was initially voted down.

  38. chewing--

    There's always the Christian Kingdom of the good Prester John, somewhere to the east, or south, or to the north, a rich, vast land, watered by the rivers of paradise, filled with blessings--where--

    We welcome all guests and pilgrims from other lands. There are no poor among us. There is no theft nor sycophancy nor greed nor divisions...No vice reigns among us...There is an abundance of bread, wine, flesh, and all the things useful in sustaining human life...and no beast can enter it which is by nature poisonous.

    Fountains filled with the Grace of God and the Holy Spirit preseve the youthfulness of all who bathe therein, and all the women are true, like Sarah Palin. And in the middle of it all grows the ever renewed Tree of Life.

    The Kingdom of Prester John was sought by the folks in Europe looking to escape the plague times, the religious violence and starvation. The population of Europe collapsed by some 40% to 60%in those years.

    taken from "Saving Paradise" and edited a bit

    An alternative is to seek The Fountain of Youth, like Ponce de Leon, or Eden, like Chris Columbus. Or, with O.J., to seek our destiny in Vegas.

    I've those those figures bandied about too, deuce. It's scary. Hyper-inflation, record unemployment, urban violence? If it all comes down, I do hope it's on Obama's watch, as they will have caused most of it.

  39. U of Idaho Vandals getting clobbered, 21-0 at half time, by U of Nevada. At home too. Where's Sarah? Where's a bailout for the Vandals?

  40. Rufus, you sound like a broker trying to sell his deal-du-jour, and most decidedly not like any farmer I've ever known. When you have to resort to the bowels of statistics, you've lost the argument, b/c everyone knows stats kind be spun every which way. Either show me a real analysis produced by an objective third party that clearly articulates that ethanol subsidies are NOT linked to food price increases, or forget it.

    Meanwhile, Sarah does have a big impact, that could be bigger if McCain turns her loose. For details, seethis Powerline post.

    McCain must turn her loose on Obama. She's the antidote.

  41. The Obama-Khalidi Connection

    More being good buds with a guy that praises suicide bombers.

  42. Sarah Palin Winks At America



    That vp debate yanked another contribution out of me. And I have never given to politicians.

  43. Willie, I never said "I am a farmer." I WAS raised on a farm. In Missouri. I Never said ethanol subsidies didn't raise food prices. They do. A very, very small amount. But, not nearly as much as transportation costs. Which ethanol lowers.

    And, if you had read what McGoofball said, rather than rushing to argue with me, you would have read where he said "Farm" Subsidies, also, cause higher food prices. That is Patent Nonsense.

    Farm Price Supports cause higher "taxes," marginally, but Lower costs at the "Grocery Store."

  44. BTW, if you'll go to and look up the Expenditures for 2007 you'll see that farm program expenditures are down about $11 Billion from 2005. This is because we're no longer paying "Price Supports."

    Also, you should know that the vast majority of the money spent in the "Farm" Bill is for School lunches, food stamps, foreign aid, etc. The "Farmer" actually sees very little of that money. Much less, now.

  45. Look, you can tell me I'm full of shit till the cows come home, but George Bush won Ohio, and, thus, the Presidency, by about 140 thousand votes, thanks to the "Rural" counties. Obama's going to have bigger numbers in the cities than Kerry did. That means McStupid has to get MORE votes in the rural counties than Dubya did.

    How's it looking, so far?

    And, that's if he wins Va (which he's losing.)

  46. And, even if the silly bastard was right, Why in God's Green Earth would you pick THAT FIGHT, now, with people whose votes you are going to need in 30 short Days?

    It doesn't make any sense.

  47. I AM going to vote for the prick. And, some of those white people that are telling pollsters they are going to vote for the messiah are also going to vote for McCain. BUT, he's still going to lose; UNLESS,

    Unless the Pubs' secret weapon can strike a chord in one of her attacks on Obama. If she "keeps Swinging" she might get lucky.

  48. I think that pushing for a bill to let little "abortion-survivors" die might be the ticket if the Saracuda was to get hold and keep shaking it.

    Somebody's got to "shake the tree" hard; and she's, obviously, the Only one that can with the balls to do it.

  49. Pressured to Take On Risk, Fannie Hit a Tipping Point

    A decision, made under pressure from Congress and investors, to steer Fannie Mae into dangerous corners of the mortgage market proved to be disastrous.

    Between 2005 and 2008, Fannie purchased or guaranteed at least $270 billion in loans to risky borrowers — more than three times as much as in all its earlier years combined, according to company filings and industry data.
    The company announced in 2000 that it would buy $2 trillion in loans from low-income, minority and risky borrowers by 2010.

    All this helped supercharge Fannie’s stock price and rewarded top executives with tens of millions of dollars. Mr. Raines received about $90 million between 1998 and 2004, while Mr. Howard was paid about $30.8 million, according to regulators. Mr. Mudd collected more than $10 million in his first four years at Fannie.

    Whenever competitors asked Congress to rein in the company, lawmakers were besieged with letters and phone calls from angry constituents, some orchestrated by Fannie itself. One automated phone call warned voters:
    “Your congressman is trying to make mortgages more expensive. Ask him why he opposes the American dream of home ownership.”

    The ripple effect of Fannie’s plunge into riskier lending was profound. Fannie’s stamp of approval made shunned borrowers and complex loans more acceptable to other lenders, particularly small and less sophisticated banks.

    Between 2001 and 2004, the overall subprime mortgage market — loans to the riskiest borrowers — grew from $160 billion to $540 billion, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication. Communities were inundated with billboards and fliers from subprime companies offering to help almost anyone buy a home.

    Within a few years of Mr. Mudd’s arrival, Fannie was the most powerful mortgage company on earth. Then it began to crumble.

    Regulators, spurred by the revelation of a wide-ranging accounting fraud at Freddie, began scrutinizing Fannie’s books.

    In 2004 they accused Fannie of fraudulently concealing expenses to make its profits look bigger. Mr. Howard and Mr. Raines resigned.

    Mr. Mudd was quickly promoted to the top spot.
    But the company he inherited was becoming a shadow of its former self.

    Shortly after he became chief executive, Mr. Mudd traveled to the California offices of Angelo R. Mozilo, the head of Countrywide Financial, then the nation’s largest mortgage lender. Fannie had a longstanding and lucrative relationship with Countrywide, which sold more loans to Fannie than anyone else.

    Mr. Mozilo, who did not return telephone calls seeking comment, told Mr. Mudd that Countrywide had other options. For example, Wall Street had recently jumped into the market for risky mortgages. Firms like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs had started bundling home loans and selling them to investors — bypassing Fannie and dealing with Countrywide directly.

    “You’re becoming irrelevant,” Mr. Mozilo told Mr. Mudd, according to two people with knowledge of the meeting who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential. In the previous year, Fannie had already lost 56 percent of its loan-reselling business to Wall Street and other competitors.

    “You need us more than we need you,” Mr. Mozilo said, “and if you don’t take these loans, you’ll find you can lose much more.”

    REGULATORS sharply increased Fannie’s affordable-housing goals. DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS DEMANDED that the company buy more loans that had been made to low-income and minority homebuyers.

    “When homes are doubling in price in every six years and incomes are increasing by a mere one percent per year, Fannie’s mission is of paramount importance,” Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, lectured Mr. Mudd at a Congressional hearing in 2006. “In fact, Fannie and Freddie can do more, a lot more.”

    Between 2005 and 2007, the company’s acquisitions of mortgages with down payments of less than 10 percent almost tripled. As the market for risky loans soared to $1 trillion, Fannie expanded in white-hot real estate areas like California and Florida.

    Lawmakers, particularly Democrats, leaned on Fannie and Freddie to buy and hold those troubled debts, hoping that removing them from the system would help the economy recover. The companies, eager to regain market share and buy what they thought were undervalued loans, rushed to comply.

    The White House also pitched in. James B. Lockhart, THE CHIEF REGULATOR of Fannie and Freddie, adjusted the companies’ lending standards so they could purchase as much as $40 billion in new subprime loans. Some in Congress praised the move.

    “I’m not worried about Fannie and Freddie’s health, I’m worried that they won’t do enough to help out the economy,” the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, BARNEY FRANK, DEMOCRAT of Massachusetts, said at the time. “That’s why I’ve supported them all these years — so that they can help at a time like this.”

    MR. RAINES AND MR. HOWARD, WHO KEPT MOST OF THEIR MILLIONS, are living well. Mr. Raines has improved his golf game. Mr. Howard divides his time between large homes outside Washington and Cancun, Mexico, where his staff is learning how to cook American meals.

  50. McCain is talking about having Warren Buffett as part of his administration, and ALGORE as Global Warming Expert.

    Except for the Marxist, he is the most out-of-touch person that's run for the office in 20 years.

  51. Sarah, who should be in the midwest, IS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!

  52. Rufus,
    If McDumb WAS 100 PERCENT RIGHT about ethanol subsidies, it'd still be political suicide to talk about it in Missourri on OCTOBER FIRST!

  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. he( McGoofy) said "Farm" Subsidies, also, cause higher food prices. That is Patent Nonsense.

    That's right. We have had a cheap food policy in the United States forever. You keep those farmers out there sowin' and a reapin'.


    Last nite on KGO there were planning the Palin protests, Doug. Can't stand a ray of light there in San Franfreako.

    But, she ought to get out to where it counts, for sure.

  55. "of mortgages with down payments of less than 10 percent almost tripled. As the market for risky loans soared to $1 trillion. "
    On top of that TRILLION, are all the more reasonable refinance loans made at the peak of the bubble, that are also upside down now in places like CA and Florida.

    ...then came the CDO's, bigtime, in 2004.

  56. Warren Buffet might be ok. It's hard to argue with a guy that's got 999 trillion dollars, legally.

    AlGore? Well, he'd fit right in with Palin. ??? Another McNuts idea.

    Best of all, McCain wins, then goes all the way down for the final count, pronto.

    In fact, it might be the only scenario that saves the republic.

  57. "McCain says he will name name and make them famous over earmarks. Here is his big chance to get some practice."
    He could have named names in the Fannie/Freddie Scandal, he had the perfect opportunity,
    ...and he didn't.

  58. Say what one will, about Mrs Palin, she will not be in the debate come Tuesday.

    Neither she nor Biden will be making the headlines, there, the two Principles will be.

    Does McCain have the balls to take it to Obama, face to face?

    As the markets continue to crumble, McCain will want us to look back, Obama will be looking forward. McCain will be making the error that Ms Sarah admonished old Joe for.

    PALIN: ... Americans are going to say, "Enough is enough with your ticket," on constantly looking backwards, and pointing fingers, and doing the blame game.

    There have been huge blunders in the war. There have been huge blunders throughout this administration, as there are with every administration.

    But for a ticket that wants to talk about change and looking into the future, there's just too much finger-pointing backwards to ever make us believe that that's where you're going.

    So, to go after Obama on past associations, Ms Sarah warns of the dangers of that, herself.

    Both candidates have lives fill with poor associations, let those with fault, living in a glass house toss the first stone.

    Now wait until this quote, is turned on Team McCain

    PALIN: Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future.

    To try to drag Obama back to the 1960's, that will backfire, sure as shootin'.

    McCain will need to listen to Mrs Palin, then heed her sage advise, if he stands even a chance.

    But then few of his base support his view of the way forward, they just fear Obama more.

  59. And I think some of the democrats that have voted for farm subsidies do so understanding it's cheaper food that way, decade after decade, taken all in all.

  60. Like Paulson, Buffet's a Democrat.
    Two Pub Presidents in a row hiring the opposition will be the end of the party.

  61. Yall still don't get it. Historical facts are irrelevant in this political climate.Biden proved that in the last debate.Feelings are what mater to the progressives.Someone linked to that 99NYT article a month ago and I passed it around my office. Heard a caller mention Franks role arguing against reigning them in and the D rep on the show called it "water over the dam"....O is now saying that Sarah mentioning his Ayers connection is "despicable"

  62. We'll be 0 and 6, here in the Vandal locker room, in a few short minutes.

    Ah, it's over--- 49-14.

    We couldn't slip it in there with 4th and 1 foot, on the 1 foot line. :(

    We're going for a perfect record this year---0.00 for 11.

    Just like the good old days.

    And the dumb shits in Athletics took the skimpy cheerleader uniforms away.

    Close the whole program down, It ain't worth it.

    Bring back 'Rodeo in the Dome'.

  63. "O is now saying that Sarah mentioning his Ayers connection is "despicable"
    Proving it was an effective issue to bring up.

  64. Buffett's competent, AlGore is crazy.

  65. Let "O" talk about it for the next week!

    "I didn't hang around with the guy that bombed the Pentagon all that much."

    Just a little bit. Just enough to go through $200 million at Annenberg.

  66. Fox News, right now, has a great story on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSE's). They detail their entire histories dating back to FDR thru LBJ, Jimmy Carter and to date. It's too bad that Democrats don't watch Fox. They would see how their leaders are shameless hustlers and liars.

    I'm not excusing Republicans, they fed at the trough, too. Republican leaders have betrayed their party.

    Along the way their were warnings from the regulators, efforts in the Congressional committees to reform the GSEs were blocked by Democrats.

    Like so many other things we have wondered about over the last eight years, the Bush Administration remained silent other than one pitiful attempt to do something.

    What is with Bush? Why didn't use the bully pulpit? On issue after issue his Whitehouse simply let lie after lie go unanswered.

    The credit crisis is bad enough but the real crisis facing America today is the breech of trust between the US public and its government.

  67. Settin' 'em up, doug, Obama's just settin' 'em up.

    Sarah's negatives will climb through the roof, ruining her future prospects.

    Just watch.

  68. You do not want Sarah pointing backwards, not if you think it through.

    The weight is on McCain.

  69. If Obama gets in, I'm taking some real measures to shore up my survivability, cause I think things are going to hell.

  70. I don't think criticism of Palin by Obama is going to hurt her at all. The only one that can hurt Sarah is Sarah, right now. Having gotten through the debate so well, she's her own woman now.

    There's Obama the radical, finally having to fight what's so obviously true, and stike back at a female vp candidate.

    Looks good, to me.

  71. The 527's are going to bring it up anyway. Might as well have it come out of Sarah pretty mouth.

  72. Ruin her for the future, bob.

    That it will, burn her up in the backblast of Mavericks' failures.

    Put her right with Quayle and Ferraro.

  73. Last time I heard of Dan Quayle, he was goin' to Chef School, in Scottsdale

  74. But ties between Obama and Raines? Not if you read the mainstream media.

    Facts don't matter much politically if they are not reported.

    The media alone are not alone in keeping the facts from the public. Republicans, for reasons unknown, don't seem to know what it is to counter-attack. They deserve to lose.

    But the country does not deserve to be put in the hands of a glib and cocky know-it-all, who has accomplished absolutely nothing beyond the advancement of his own career with rhetoric, and who has for years allied himself with a succession of people who have openly expressed their hatred of America.

    Do Facts Matter?

    Thomas Sowell (who would make a good President)

  75. Last time I heard of Dan Quayle, he was goin' to Chef School, in Scottsdale.

    :) hehehe

    He best learn the diff between a potatoe and a potato and tomato.

  76. Well, bob, do you really think that Sony, Time-Warner, Mickey Mouse and GE are going to flip, now?

    You bemoaned the savaging that Mrs Palin took, earlier, when she was only marginal to the campaign.

    Let the 527's do their work, as McCain designed, don't advocate the ruination of your angel.

    Let Sarah be Sarah, looking ahead, not backward.

  77. Food Lover's Companion: potato
    The ancient Incas were cultivating this humble tuber thousands of years ago. The potato was not readily accepted in Europe, however, because it was known to be a member of the nightshade family (as are the tomato and eggplant) and therefore thought to be poisonous. In the 16th century, Sir Walter Raleigh was instrumental in debunking the poisonous potato superstition when he planted them on property he owned in Ireland. The Irish knew a good thing when they saw it and a hundred years later were growing and consuming the potato in great quantities.

    English Folklore: potatoes
    Carried in one's pocket, potatoes were widely thought to cure or prevent rheumatism, especially if they had been stolen; as they dry and harden, they supposedly are drawing from the sufferer's body the uric acid (or, according to other informants, the iron) which causes the pain. The idea was common in the 1950s (Radford, Radford, and Hole, 1961: 272), and is probably still to be found. A common cure for warts was to rub them with a slice of potato, and bury it; as it shrivelled, so would the warts.

  78. You might be right, on the other hand, if things go to hell in a hand basket, as they probably will, she might be remembered as the one, the only one, that fought like hell against Obama when she had the chance.

  79. McCain will never give her that much leash, bob.
    Just enough to strangle her, not enough to really "sic" Obama.

    Mac knows he has to go back to the Seante, when it's over. He will not want the water so muddy or bloody to ruin that.

  80. Now, this is from "The Nation", which is as Obamaoil as it gets, but the story rings true.
    As do the lack of denials, from Team maverick

    McCain's Kremlin Ties
    By Mark Ames & Ari Berman
    Yet despite McCain's tough talk, behind the scenes his top advisers have cultivated deep ties with Russia's oligarchy--indeed, they have promoted the Kremlin's geopolitical and economic interests, as well as some of its most unsavory business figures, through greedy cynicism and geopolitical stupor. The most notable example is the tale of how McCain and his campaign manager, Rick Davis, advanced what became a key victory for the Kremlin: gaining control over the small but strategically important country of Montenegro.

    According to two former senior US diplomats who served in the Balkans, Davis and his lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, received several million dollars to help run Montenegro's independence referendum campaign of 2006. The terms of the agreement were never disclosed to the public, but top Montenegrin officials told the US diplomats that Davis's work was underwritten by powerful Russian business interests connected to the Kremlin and operating in Montenegro. Neither Davis nor the McCain campaign responded to repeated requests for comment. (Davis's extensive lobbying work, especially on behalf of collapsed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has already attracted critical media scrutiny.)

    At the time, Putin wanted to establish a Russian outpost in the Mediterranean, and Montenegro--a coastal republic across the Adriatic from Italy--was seen as his best hope. McCain also lobbied for Montenegro's independence from Serbia, calling it "the greatest European democracy project since the end of the cold war." For McCain, the simplistic notion of "independence" from a country America had gone to war with in the late 1990s was all that mattered. What Montenegro looked like after independence seemed not to interest him. This suited Putin just fine. Russia had generally sided with Serbia against the West during the Balkan wars of the 1990s, but for the Kremlin, cutting Montenegro free from Serbia meant dealing with a Montenegro that could be more easily controlled. Indeed, today, after its "independence," Montenegro is nicknamed "Moscow by the Mediterranean." Russian oligarchs control huge chunks of the country's industry and prized coastline--and Russians exert a powerful influence over the country's political culture. "Montenegro is almost a new Russian colony, as rubles flow in to buy property and business in the tiny state," Denis MacShane, Tony Blair's former Europe minister, wrote in Newsweek in June.

  81. Russia's virtual takeover of Montenegro was well under way by January 2006, when Rick Davis introduced Deripaska to McCain at a villa in Davos, Switzerland. They met again seven months later, at a reception in Montenegro celebrating McCain's birthday, as reported in the Washington Post.

    The story of how Oleg Deripaska, 40, rose from a Cossack village to become a Putin-blessed aluminum tycoon with an estimated $40 billion fortune does not begin with a lemonade stand and old-fashioned elbow grease. Like most post-Soviet success stories, Deripaska's rise began abruptly and violently, during the chaotic reign of Boris Yeltsin. Among all the battles for control of valuable state assets in the 1990s, none were as bloody as the "aluminum wars," in which organized-crime gangs hired by competing interests assassinated dozens of executives, shareholders and bankers. During a visit to the United States in 1995, Deripaska threatened the lives of two aluminum rivals, Yuri and Mikhail Zhivilo, according to a RICO lawsuit filed against Deripaska in New York district court in 2000. The RICO case is just one of many lawsuits, including one filed in Israel by a former business partner claiming that Deripaska illegally wiretapped an Israeli cabinet minister. In addition, German prosecutors have begun a criminal money-laundering investigation in Stuttgart. (Deripaska did not respond to requests for comment.)

    Deripaska understands that success in Russia today comes from a mixture of brute force, political influence and personal connections. In 2001, about a year after Putin signed a decree granting legal immunity to Yeltsin's family, Deripaska married Yeltsin's granddaughter, thereby cementing his own immunity and power. Throughout Putin's reign, Deripaska has adhered to an unwritten understanding between Putin and the oligarchs: as long as they support the Kremlin, they can operate with impunity. Deripaska has thus taken on numerous projects dear to Putin, such as building a new airport in Sochi for the 2014 Olympics and buying out Tajikistan's aluminum plant to help Putin reassert control over that key ex-Soviet republic. Deripaska openly admits that his RusAl holdings are subservient to the Kremlin's wishes, telling the Financial Times last year, "If the state says we need to give it up, we'll give it up."

  82. Better to hang with Ayers than Davis, that case could certainly be made, from a US National Security perspective.

    Military and Financial security, anyway.

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  84. Aside from a little campaign dough, what has McCain gotten out of all this? It's hard to tell--either he was utterly clueless while his top advisers and political allies ran around the former Soviet domain promoting the Kremlin's interests for cash, or he was aware of it and didn't care. McCain was reportedly so angry about Davis Manafort's role in stifling Ukraine's Orange Revolution that he almost removed Davis as campaign manager. But in the case of Montenegro, he should have known what Davis & Co. were up to. After all, McCain lent a helping hand. And by the time he visited the country, the Russian takeover was plain to see.

    The story of how McCain's closest aides and employees have been undermining his vociferously expressed opposition to Putin and Russia's oligarchs offers a highly disturbing preview of what a McCain administration might look like. When McCain's campaign proclaims "country first," one has to wonder, Which country? The one with the highest bidder?

  85. So Mr Davis is a lacky of both the Saudi princes and Pootie's proxies.

    Talk about associating with scum.

    And not at an occasional board meeting, years ago, but at his home, office and the Straight Talk Airliner, today.

  86. "The Polls are Wrong. Our Guy will win..."

    Our guy?

    Good heavens Rufus, it's been several months since I've seen one of your posts, but as I recall, back then you were going to vote for anyone but Big John.

    Was it epiphany or just smitten by Sarah?

  87. Rat,

    Sarah is no Quayle or Ferraro. Neither one did in their entire careers what she did in busting the Republican party's monopoly in Alaska, and did so from within the party. You know that's true.

    Absent some egregious error on her part, there's no way she comes out of a McCain loss as anything less than the most dominant political force in the GOP.

    You have your reasons for hating McCain, and I don't doubt some are valid. He wasn't my preference from the Republican field, but the others just didn't get it done (wither Fred or Mitt would have been far preferable as President, but neither had what it took as a candidate for President). McCain at his worst remains a much better choice than Obama at his best. And even the fool Gore in a McCain Administration would be preferable to the scalawags that will accompany Obama to DC.

  88. Awesome clip in which Dick Morris just steamrolls over Alan Colmes and his talking points. It's priceless. In addition, Morris also says that Palin's performance in the debate was brilliant and equates her ability to speak over the media to the people to that of Reagan. Says she has usurped Hillary's position as the #1 woman in politics.

  89. Smitten with Sarah, that's my hunch. :) Plus, an appreciation of a woman of sense.

    I do seem to recall some admiring statements after the Republican Convention speech.

    I gotta say, I really like that woman. Not saying she is the Queen of Heaven, or that she might not become a Goneril/Regan, and blind her own father, and watch him sniff, sniff, sniff his way to Anchorage, though I doubt it, but right now, one would have to be something of a grinch not to like that wholesome, vivacious, brave and steely gal, a breath of fresh air from the northland.

    I wish her the best in all things.

  90. De "Q"

    Good to hear from ye, Bud.

    Yeah, I despise the old bastard. Of course, I don't like the thought of an Obamassiah administration, either.

    Anyhoo, I'll support my "tribe," and vote for McNutz, thus preserving my "right" to bitch all through the Dem debacle.

    Of course, I could be the leading edge of a "Reverse Bradley Effect." ie, those who lie to their tribe, and vote for the Messiahman in the privacy of the booth.

    No one will ever know. Will They?

  91. Hate McCain, nah, just know him.

    Wouldn't trust him further than I cab piss.

    Look to HIS cronies, past and present.

    Felons in the family,
    a druggie wife, who perjured herself to adopt a child. When she was far, oh so far, from a capable mother.

    His right hand man, a proxie for Pootie and the Saudi princes, as well as Franklin Raines.

    Ms Palin, a stand up lady, from all appearences. Fallen in with the wrong crowd, sure as shootin'.

    If she keeps her wits about her, and stays true to her forward vison, she'll be around in '12.
    But if she follows the advice of those that hate Obama, well, corporate America, they'll toast her.

  92. And, yeah, there's always the chance that the old prick could "stroke out" in the first month, and leave us with a Palincuda Presidency.

  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

  94. hehehe

    I've been wondering how those family arguments go in the Palin family. Every family argues some. I think I may be feeling some sympathy for poor old Todd.

    Well, some sympathy, anyway, the upsides of the arrangement being considerable.

  95. You'd really want to see Pelosi in the White House?

    Mrs Pakin's's odds of survival, in that event, lower than JFK's after signing Executive Order No. 11110.

    He lasted five months.

  96. Rufus, Quoth the Who:
    "Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss"

    Regardless who wins, we lose. We've got a four year @#$*storm coming whoever wins in November. I stopped following this stuff as soon as I saw who the players were.

    Anyway, it's good to see somethings remain constant. Still fighting the good fight on ethanol, eh. (However, surely you realize ethanol is soooo 2007. You must have heard that windpower and compressed natural gas are the new "in" alternatives these days.) :)

    Tell me, are Stark and TC still trying to defend free market capitalism against the socialists over at LKMP?

  97. I think the ultimate test of whether corn ethanol works is to compare the amount of imported fossil fuels into the US before and after the corn ethanol policy was widely adopted.

    If corn ethanol works, then the amount of fossil fuel imports should decline, or at the very least, have a slower rate of growth.

    I have some severe doubts about the long term viability, especially given water requirements for corn growing. But, it might be a good intermediate to other biofuel alternatives.

    BTW, the algae thingy? Doesn't look like it can pan out. The mass of algae you can get per unit volume per day, even from a specialized bioreactor using CO2 from a power plant, is still too damn low for it to be economically viable. You'll need huge amounts of thin tubes and lots of CO2 pumps(which also consume energy) to sustain any economy based on algae fuel.

    Back to the drawing board...

  98. Hawaii leads FSU 29-22 w/ about 10 min to go. Those big Samoans earning their poi, Doug.

  99. All tied up at 29. Tension mounts.

  100. Idaho behind 49-7 with only a minute to go. Will they score again?

    Tension mounts :)

    You have no idea what it is to be isolated up here, Linear, where you really got no one else to root for without being a traitor to your clan, and the team always loses.

    It's a real 'character builder'.

  101. 51 seconds to go...

    UoH blocks Bulldog field goal attempt.

    8 seconds left...incomplete pass

    1 second...Hawaii completes pass, receiver down at the 23...going to overtime at 29 ea

  102. At least you don't have a damned blue playing field, Bob.

  103. Bulldogs miss field goal attempt on first OT possession...saved by roughing the kicker call...shanked it...wide right on 2nd attempt...ball goes over to Rainbow Warriors.

    Noisy as hell down there.

    Hawaii going for field goal from the 17...we need a miracle.

  104. The snap...the kick...ball is on its's good.

    Warriors win it 32 to 29. There is no joy in Fresno.


  105. Wobbly, while oil usage, and thus imports, is well off this year About 1.3 million barrels/day that's, basically, a function of higher oil prices, and consumers driving less.

    You can look at it this way, however; we're producing/consuming about 700,000 Barrels/day of ethanol. 99+ percent of that is used in E10. This means you're replacing about 600,000 Barrels gasoline/day.

    It's got to replace gasoline/oil that originates "offshore," since we're pumping at one hundred percent domestically.

  106. Wobbly,
    I'll have to look into that algaeoil problem. Info I saw looked promising, but it was promo stuff. No hard data.

  107. Interesting sidenote: E10 is the, absolutely, worst mixture you can use. If that was used in an E20, or E30 blend we would be replacing about 700,000 barrels of imported oil/gasoline.

  108. As for Algae, it's time probably isn't quite here, yet. But, it will probably come in the not too far-off future.

  109. j willie...
    They are also, for the most part, despite being dole recipients, primarily social and fiscal conservatives and will not vote for Obama on principle. So, I think your premise that McCain is costing himself votes is fundamentally flawed.

    Sat Oct 04, 03:15:00 PM EDT

    Gotta side with willie here, rufus. The folks I know back in Nebraska would never vote for Obama, regardless of the corn/ethanol issue. They prospered before ethanol on the other farm subsidies, and it looks like ethanol has taken root, so whatever maverick's energy stand, they'll go with him on broader principals. I'd expect Iowa to do the same.

  110. Obama leads by 10 in Iowa.

    Bush won there.

  111. Bush carried Indiana by 20!

    McCain leads by 2.

    Bush carried Co by 4

    Obama leads by 4

    Bush carried Ohio by 2

    Obama leads by 2

  112. Bradley effect.
    Who's being polled?

    Grant ya your poll numbers.
    Funny thing about polls is my neighbors and I seldom get called.

    Maybe cause I'm always hittin' on the females that call. :-)

  113. We have a Department of Energy. Thousands of employees. What are they doing?

    US Department of Energy

  114. Bob,
    Your link has overwhelmed the servers at DoE.
    But all we need to concentrate all our energy on is getting Sarah elected VP. Then, with your considerable influence and respect from the McCain/Palin team, we get Rufus installed as Sec of Energy!

  115. After working my arse off for Palin/McCainuts, I quess they owe me! Rufus is in.

    Then things will really be a gas.:)

  116. Secretary Bodman.

    Never heard of him. But, he looks like my 8th grade teacher, Mr Vaughn.

    Mr Vaughn had an unfortunate scar on his head, off to the side just above his forehead. He explained to us students, when rumors circulated it was where his horns had been removed, that it was where a harrow had caught him once as a youth, as he was moving it sideways through a narrow stile. From that day he was a marked man.

  117. Forgive me if I missed your answer, Bob, but did you ever get down to the fiddlers' contests at Weiser.

  118. Missed the question.

    Weiser sneezer?

    That's what we used to call the place, for some odd reason. One of my friends was from Weiser sneezer.

    No, haven't been to the fiddlin' contest.

    Have been to the Cowboy Poetry Festival in various places on occasion.

    How does that go---

    And when I die,
    Please skin me clean
    And tan my hide
    Into a saddle fine
    Placed on the back
    Of a strong good horse
    To be ridden by
    A lass so fine
    So's I can take
    My Eternal Rest
    Betwixt the two places
    That I love best.


  119. ah, hehe

    We had a teacher named Mr. Bates.

    Kids being kids, he was, of course, Master Bates.

    Really torqued old Bates off.

    again, adew