Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis.

The clear gravity of the situation pushed the legislation forward. Some might say the current mess couldn't be foreseen, yet in 2005 Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms: If Fannie and Freddie ``continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,'' he said. ``We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.''

What happened next was extraordinary. For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.

Different World

If that bill had become law, then the world today would be different. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, a blizzard of terrible mortgage paper fluttered out of the Fannie and Freddie clouds, burying many of our oldest and most venerable institutions. Without their checkbooks keeping the market liquid and buying up excess supply, the market would likely have not existed.

But the bill didn't become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn't even get the Senate to vote on the matter.

That such a reckless political stand could have been taken by the Democrats was obscene even then. Wallison wrote at the time: ``It is a classic case of socializing the risk while privatizing the profit. The Democrats and the few Republicans who oppose portfolio limitations could not possibly do so if their constituents understood what they were doing.''

Famous Tombs.

A tomb is a place for the burial of the dead. Some people consider tombs or burial sites scary for they believe that the place is a dwelling place for ghost. On the other hand, many people consider them amazing and fascinating. Here are the 10 most interesting and historically important tombs in the world.

Escape Artists.

It’s really hard to escape from prison… right? Well, maybe nowadays. But before experience and technology allowed prisons to become the fortresses they are today, it wasn’t as difficult as all that. At least, these guys made it look pretty easy. Here are a few prisoners who managed to escape multiple times.

The article is here.

The Return of Goodness.

Morality is once again on the lips of politicians and commentators. David Cameron has warned that we are "becoming quite literally a de-moralised society, where nobody will tell the truth any more about what is good and bad." He is echoed by Richard Reeves, new director of Demos, who argued in last month's Prospect that Britain's poor lack not only the material but also the moral resources to better their lot in life.

Behind these comments lies a flickering recognition that our nation's central problems are moral, not economic. But any deeper reflection runs up against a principle entrenched in the liberal mind—that individuals are sovereign in their own sphere, and that only when someone infringes on others may he be rebuked or punished. "Neither one person, nor any number of persons," declared John Stuart Mill, the originator of this principle, "is warranted in saying to another human creature of ripe years, that he shall not do with his life for his own benefit what he chooses to do with it."

How Obama lost me.

Well....not me but rather a leftish blogger I sometimes read.

The article is here.

PETA Urges Ben & Jerry's To Use Human Milk.

VERMONT -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.

"PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statement says.

You can't make this stuff up.

Does the Constitution allow for early voting?

I have my doubts. Aparently the New York Sun agrees.

The way things are headed, by the time 2012 rolls around, the general election voting will begin before the parties have even chosen their candidates. The states have broad latitude to set their own rules on elections, but if voting this early becomes more common, Congress may want to think about trying to establish some national standards.

A USA Today article this week on the trend called it "the most extensive early voting process in history" and said it was driven by the desire of bureaucrats to avoid long lines at polling sites on Election Day. The article quoted the head of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Rosemary Rodriguez, as calling the early voting — which is estimated to be taken advantage of by as many as 50% of voters in some states — "a sea change" and "a little bit astounding."

The Constitution is less than clear-cut about the matter. On one hand, it says that each state shall appoint, "in such matter as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors." That gives the states broad latitude to do things however they want. On the other hand, it says, "The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States." The references to a "day" and "time" suggest an election conducted over a period shorter than the stretch between now and Election Day.

The Glenn and Helen Show: John Fund on Election Fraud and Its Remedies

With the elections only a month away, we talk to John Fund, Wall Street Journal writer and author of Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy.

Fund talks about high-tech problems with electronic voting machines, more mundane problems with ineligible voters and phony ballots, and the general slackness and incompetence that have made our voting system one that can only aspire to the high standards of Mexico.

The Podcast is Here.

Democrats to let offshore drilling ban expire.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in a months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.

About bloody time.

Obama and Ayers.

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

The Russians Are Coming.

The renewal of war in the Caucasus came as a shock to Americans because of profound self-delusions about the post-cold-war international order. Throughout China's continuing rise and Russia's resurgence, scholars, pundits, and government officials prattled on about a new "unipolar" era.