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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Video: Democrats insist “nothing wrong” at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac in 2004

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - By 2004, all of the elements of the current financial collapse had been in place for several years. The aggressive approach to enforcing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) started under Bill Clinton in 1998, and the seemingly endless appetite for paper by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had turned massive amounts of bad loans into mortgage-backed securities to spread their cancer throughout the system. In 2004, a year after the Bush administration tried to tighten regulation and oversight on Fannie and Freddie, Congress was told yet again that disaster loomed. The Democratic response is instructive to seeing who really sat back and allowed this collapse to occur (via Power Line):


Anonymous Victor Davis Hanson said...

From National Review Online:

That is an astounding tape of the past 2004 House hearings on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in which Reps. Walters, Meeks, Davis, Clay, and Frank (who really should recuse himself from the present discussions given his culpability for the original mess) essentially bully and all but call the honest worried bank regulators liars and quasi-racists after hearing their prescient warnings that these institutions were suspect, violating accounting laws in Enron-like fashion, verging on insolvency, and being used as cash cows for their dishonest administrators.

The shouting, accusations, grandstanding, praise of 100% financing, and kudos to Franklin Raines (whose creative accounting allowed himself and his cronies multimillion dollar bonuses) are surreal. And to watch these exchanges is chilling since it is a scary example of demagoguery in which statistics and audits, in postmodern fashion, are attacked as biased.

PS. As I recall Raines was the one who, following the Enron scandals, gave public lectures about corporate responsiblity and CEO honesty. And as one begins to read about Raines, James Johnson, Jamie Gorelick, and Leland Brendsel at Freddie Mac, one begins to understand their modus operandi. Freddie and Fannie were landing pads for former Democratic insiders, who milked the agencies for millions in bonuses as they covered their tracks by donations to Congressional candiates and pseudo-racial-populism of helping minorities buy homes with little down. Their careers are every bit as nauseating as anything at Enron — and yet the press strangely does not go after them in the manner we learned of Ken Lay's deceit. God help us all.

Monday, September 29, 2008 12:51:00 PM  

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