Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama Voters and ACORN

Those of us who work and save and also respect the sacrifices McCain has made for this country and the extensive foreign policy experience that Senator McCain has in these dangerous times, cannot fathom why anyone who works for a living and saves for his future would possibly vote for Obama. This video clears that up. What the person in the video is saying is:

I never thought this day would happen. . . . I won’t have to work on puttin’ gas in my car. I won’t have to work at payin’ my mortgage. You know. If I help him (Obama), he’s gonna help me.”

As for ACORN:
ACORN's Tangled Money Tree

By Matthew Vadum The American Spectator (Excerpt)

When Sir Walter Scott wrote in 1808, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive," he wasn't writing about ACORN, but he might as well have been.

In 2008, the activities of the radical, corrupt left-wing Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which has tangled itself up in an infinitely complex web of deceit, thuggery, and questionable financial dealings, is long overdue for a RICO probe.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, which was created to prosecute organized crime, allows the federal government to go after individuals who commit any two RICO-related crimes over a decade. The law allows courts to convict persons if it can be shown that they committed those crimes as part of an illegal enterprise and can order disgorgement of their ill-gotten gains from the enterprise.

The Ohio-based Buckeye Institute isn't waiting for the feds to act. It filed a civil action under a state racketeering law, arguing ACORN has engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity that amounts to organized crime. It seeks ACORN's dissolution as a legal entity, the revocation of any licenses it holds in Ohio, and an injunction against fraudulent voter registration and other illegal activities.

The Buckeye Institute said in a press release that the suit, filed on behalf of two voters, alleges that "ACORN's actions deprive them of the right to participate in an honest and effective elections process." The voters "allege fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN dilute the votes of legally registered voters."

The suit also alleges that ACORN's voter-mobilization arm, Project Vote, "regularly advises Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner on election strategy, even recently issuing a news release that claims credit for Brunner's directive restricting challenges to suspected fraudulent voter registrations."

Brunner, a Democrat, has declined to enforce the provisions of the Help America Vote Act that requires her to use a database to allow the verification of 600,000-plus registrations from new Ohio voters. Brunner admits there are "discrepancies" on about 200,000 of the new registrations, but won't give local election officials the registration data they need to verify the validity of the registrations.

It's a recipe for disaster, but that's exactly the way her allies at ACORN like it.

That's because ACORN thrives on confusion. Its nebulous legal status and opaque corporate structure allow it to keep its activities largely hidden from public view.

The social justice entrepreneurs of ACORN sit on the boards of ACORN and of ACORN affiliates.

These "interlocking directorates" create an appearance of conflict of interest. Such arrangements may be widespread and lawful, but they always raise legitimate questions about the quality and independence of board decision-making. The ACORN network claims to be a "family" of organizations embodying the ethos of community organizing, which stresses local action and decentralized authority.

In fact, ACORN is tightly controlled from the top. One intrepid blogger discovered that 294 ACORN affiliates operate out of ACORN's building on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans.

ACORN's many affiliates have extraordinarily sophisticated financial arrangements that are largely hidden from public view. ACORN uses its system of interlocking boards of directors to oversee its affiliates and make financial mischief.

As Jim Terry of the Consumers Rights League has noted, "ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain."

Look at a person named Donna Pharr. Pharr sits on the boards of at least 22 ACORN affiliates. She's also deputy treasurer of the Minnesota ACORN Political Action Committee and is listed by Michigan as the contact person for Communities Voting Together, a "527" pressure group.

And even now after it was revealed earlier this year that ACORN founder Wade Rathke covered up his brother's nearly $1 million embezzlement, Rathke remains chief organizer of ACORN affiliate SEIU Local 100, president of ACORN International Inc., and president and a director of ACORN affiliate Affiliated Media Foundation Movement Inc.” American Spectator

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How Many Smoking Guns Can Obama Finesse?

Let’s start out with one point of madness and hypocrisy that the left is trying to put over with a straight face. We are being told, over and over again, that Sarah Palin, the governor of a state and commander-in-chief of its National Guard (the first line of defense against Russia and the former Soviet Union) does not have the experience needed to be vice president, in case she has to succeed John McCain, and yet, their candidate for PRESIDENT, Obama, has even less experience, and none in any executive capacity! I say “madness” because to keep saying this with a straight face denotes a kind of mental illness. Obama has memorized many policy positions and is a glib and convincing speaker, but would you hire this man for any conceivable position of responsibility? Absolutely not!

Here are some of the the smoking guns:

He has admitted he wants to redistribute the wealth earned by producers to non-producers, and that he thinks our Constitution is flawed because it makes this difficult to do.

Until criticized, he refused to honor the flag of the United States.

Because of his known associations with terrorists he would not be issued a security clearance as a government employee.

Recently we learned of his praise for a Palestinian terrorist, Rashid Khalidi.

He supports and has voted for partial-birth abortion and even infanticide.

He is a product of a corrupt Chicago political machine who gained positions in the Illinois Senate and in the U.S. Senate only after his opponents were slimed so badly they withdrew. Considering the sliming of Sarah Palin, does this sound familiar?

He has changed almost all of his life-long positions on important issues, once he gained the Democratic nomination and felt he had to move to the center. How can anyone trust him?

He sat in a black liberation theology church for 20 years under the tutelage of a pastor who preaches hatred for America and for white people.

Recently we learned of the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the housing crash and the mortgage meltdown. Since entering the Senate, Obama is the leading recipient of campaign contributions from these two agencies, and employed the two men in his campaign who looted these agencies, Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson.

In a period of terrible external threats, some of which may escalate to nuclear confrontations, Obama has responded with naïve and/or foolish platitudes – especially concerning Iran, Russia and Pakistan.

Many of his campaign contributions are now seen to be illegal due to a process deliberately set up to hide the identities of the donors. Many of his contributions illegally come from foreign donors.

He purchased his Illinois home with the assistance of the convicted felon and Obama contributor, Tony Rezco.

Our country is being inundated with illegally registered voters by ACORN, an agency supported and defended by Obama. Our voting system has been completely compromised to gain added Democratic votes.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Report From Iraq;The War Is Over; We Won

We don't hear much about the war in Iraq these days, especially from the press and the broadcast media. That's because it's over, and we won. Big deal. We could, of course, throw it all away. That's a matter for the American electorate to determine next Tuesday.

October 27, 2008 Strategy Page

The war is over. Most of the noise these days is from politicians arguing, not bombs going off. There are still bombs, but now they tend to be assassination attempts, as some political parties play dirty (not unknown in this part of the world). Up north, the Turkish Air Force air raids are taking place farther (the latest was 100 kilometers) from the border. The PKK separatists have been driven out of their bases close to the Turkish border. But the PKK continues to recruit in northern Iraq, despite the hostility of the Kurdish government. Many Iraqi Kurds back the PKK, and its violence inside Turkey. So no matter what the Iraqi Kurdish government says against the PKK, the Kurdish population is another matter.

Iraq has revived its diplomatic relations with Kuwait, including reopening the Kuwaiti embassy and making an earnest attempt to settle issues (mainly reparations and missing persons) still remaining from the Iraqi occupation of 1990-91.

Relations with Iran are rather more complex, with the Iranians boldly interfering in Iraqi politics. This includes bribes and threats to Iraqi politicians, and backing pro-Iranian militias and terrorist groups. Iran shows no signs of backing off, and this threatening attitude is why so many Iraqis, including Shia, want American troops to remain. Iran wants them gone, so that Iraq will be more responsive to Iranian threats. The Sunni Arabs, in Iraq and to the south in Arabia, want the U.S. to stay as well, and for the same reason. Keeping the Iranians out is nothing new, it's a local tradition that is thousands of years old.

Iraqis now concentrate on more mundane things, like a serious drought, and the difficulties in attracting doctors, and other professionals, back to Iraq (after they fled the violence of the past few years.) The drought has been regional, and serious. Crop yields are down nearly 30 percent, and some food imports (like grain) are up 40 percent. Growing prosperity is sharply increasing the demand.

While the economy is booming, the government is having a hard time carrying out needed infrastructure projects (like the irrigation system farmers depend on.) Most of Iraq's infrastructure dates from the 1970s. Construction basically ceased in 1980, when Iraq went to war with Iran. That war ended in 1988, quickly followed by the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. There followed a decade of UN sanctions, then five years of terrorism. Now people want the country rebuilt, but the democratic form of government makes it difficult to agree on where to start. The Kurds, who have been free of Saddam and terrorists since the early 1990s, and gone ahead and rebuilt their infrastructure.

Northern Iraq ("Kurdistan") serves as an example to the rest of the country of what could be, if only decisions were made. The Kurds have told their Arab brethren that the most important thing is law and order, and that has unleashed a growing campaign against the hundreds of criminal gangs that have grown prosperous with the years of violence. But the doctors, dentists and other professionals have made it clear that they will not return until it is safe. Really safe.

Iraqi Sunni Arab politicians still have friends and family members engaged in terrorist or criminal operations, and continue to try and pressure the U.S. military, and Iraqi police, to back off attacking Iraqis who are "connected." It often works with the Iraqis, but rarely with the Americans, which is causing problems with the Sunni Arab community. What's the point if you can't use your influence to get your way?

October 26, 2008: In attempt to get Iraqi politicians to get their act together, the commander of U.S. forces sent a three page letter to the Iraqi government pointing out that if the Iraqis did not approve an extension of agreements authorizing U.S. forces in Iraq, by the time the current ones expire at the end of the year, the U.S. would suspend, on January 1st, all services America provides for Iraq. That took up most of the three pages, and Iraqi officials were surprised at the extent of economic and administrative services that the U.S. delivers, day in and day out.

There has been a tendency by Iraqis to take for granted what the Americans do for them. The letter sought to do a little attitude adjustment. Some Iraqi politicians called this blackmail, but it's just the downside of living under the rule of law. No contract, no work.

October 25, 2008: U.S. Army Special Forces raided a farm eight kilometers inside Syria, killing at least eight people. The attack was on smugglers who moved terrorists, weapons and money into Iraq. The U.S. had asked Syria to shut down operations like this, but this particular location was apparently protected by some very generous bribes. U.S. and Iraqi forces have shut down most of the smuggling gangs inside Iraq, at least those that specialize in supporting terrorists. In the last six months, these operations have shut down about half the terrorist related smuggling. Only about twenty terrorist recruits are getting into Iraq each month, down from over a hundred two years ago. Although al Qaeda urges new recruits to go to Afghanistan, many prefer Iraq because it is closer and not such an unfamiliar culture. Already the word has filtered back that Afghanistan is an alien and hostile place, even for suicide bombers.

October 24, 2008: The Iraqi branch of al Qaeda announced today (via an audiotape) that is has shifted its efforts to battles outside of Iraq. This fits with the indications over the past six months that al Qaeda was shifting its resources to Afghanistan (where the Taliban has been turning on the al Qaeda foreigners, much as they eventually did in Iraq.) The remaining Iraqi Sunni terrorists are making a last stand in and around the northern city of Mosul.

October 23, 2008: In Baghdad, a large car bomb was used to try and assassinate the Minister for Labor and Social Affairs. The minister survived, but three bodyguards and ten civilians died, with several dozen civilians wounded. Those Iraqis with bomb making skills are apparently working for gangsters now, trying to intimidate politicians rather than foreign troops.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Obama Speech Everyone Is Talking About

This is the interview given by Obama in 2001 that everyone is talking about. In it he criticizes the courts for not redistributing our wealth, and he calls for the legislature to redistribute income from those who have earned it to people who have not. Why haven't we seen this before? This is right out of the black liberation theology movement and so-called black power. He calls us "racist" but, since this is discussed in the guise of the civil rights movement, what he is really talking about is taking from whites and giving to blacks. Now that is racist! How can anyone who believes this uphold the Constitution?

Here is a also a preview of what's in store for conservative and traditional Americans if Obama wins:

Obama campaign cuts off WFTV after interview with Joe Biden

Oct 24, 2008

WFTV-Channel 9's Barbara West conducted a satellite interview with Sen. Joe Biden on Thursday. A friend says it's some of the best entertainment he's seen recently. What do you think?

West wondered about Sen. Barack Obama's comment, to Joe the Plumber, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.

"Are you joking?" said Biden, who is Obama's running mate. "No," West said.
West later asked Biden about his comments that Obama could be tested early on as president. She wondered if the Delaware senator was saying America's days as the world's leading power were over.

"I don't know who's writing your questions," Biden shot back.
Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was "a result of her husband's experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West."

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Republicans, Don’t Be Fooled; Get Out and Vote!

The mainstream media, long the accomplices of the liberal Democrats, want you to believe that the election is already over. It’s not. Both in 2000 and in 2004, Democrat candidates led in the fraudulent polls being conducted and pushed by the media to discourage you from voting. This year they have pulled out all the stops. Don’t be fooled.

Tracking poll: Gore may be opening solid lead -- with a caveat

By CNN Polling Director Keating Holland

October 4, 2000

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Thursday's CNN/USA Today/Gallup tracking poll indicates that Vice President Al Gore may be opening a solid lead over Texas Gov. George W. Bush, after nearly two weeks of neck-and-neck competition. Today's figures -- 51 percent for Gore to 40 percent for Bush -- represents a significant margin for the vice president.

Kerry takes lead in new opinion poll

October 8, 2004 - 5:29PM AP

Democrat John Kerry has taken a slight lead over US President George W Bush, according to a new opinion poll. The survey by the Associated Press found that Kerry had gained ground with women, boosting his overall popularity and cutting into the president’s advantage on national security.

The two candidates remain in a very close race ahead of a second debate tomorrow in St. Louis.

Among 944 likely voters, the Democratic ticket of Kerry and John Edwards led Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, 50 per cent to 46 per cent, in the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs.

Signs Pointing To A McCain Victory

By Steven M. Warshawsky October 25, 2008 American Thinker (Excerpt)

“Despite there being an entire cottage industry devoted to exposing the liberal bias of the mainstream media, Republicans and conservatives continue to allow themselves to be unduly influenced, and even demoralized, by what they read and hear in the big city newspapers and on network television.

What are they reading and hearing? That Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. It's inevitable. It's his election to lose. What proof does the media offer? Public opinion polls that supposedly show Obama "winning" the race. The thousands of devoted supporters who attend Obama's rallies. The legions of blacks and young people who are more "inspired" than ever to vote for a candidate who understands their needs and interests. Etc. We all know the story by heart by now.

This is the "narrative" that the mainstream media has been imposing on this year's presidential campaign almost from the start. Remember how quickly the MSM jumped off the Hillary Clinton bandwagon and onto Obama's? Remember how annoyed and angry they became as Hillary refused to concede the nomination? The MSM decided that electing the nation's first black, socialist, anti-American president was politically and historically more important (and, for them, more exciting) than electing the nation's first female, socialist, patriotic president. And they are doing everything they can to achieve this goal.

Well, there is another story out there that the MSM refuses to address. A huge story. One that could, and I think will, significantly affect the outcome of this race. I'm referring to the widespread phenomenon of registered Democrats openly supporting John McCain. There are numerous "Democrats for McCain" type organizations. There are numerous websites and blogs written by Democrats touting McCain's candidacy. There are pro-McCain grassroots efforts being led by Democrats. And we all know friends or relatives who are Democrats, who voted for John Kerry in 2004, and who are no fans of President Bush - but who are going to vote for John McCain this year.

Yet, surprise surprise, the mainstream media is not talking about these voters, not talking about the real rift that is occurring within the ranks of the Democratic Party. Needless to say, if a similar rift were occurring in the Republican Party, it would be treated as the major story that it is. (Indeed, as such stories about the political fault lines in the Republican Party have been treated in the recent past.)

Who are these pro-McCain Democratic voters? They overwhelmingly tend to be former Hillary supporters. Perhaps the most well-known of these voters are the "PUMAs" - which stands for Party Unity My Ass. These are Hillary supporters who are adamantly opposed to Obama. Let's not forget that during the Democratic primaries - real elections, not polls - Hillary crushed Obama among white working-class and middle-class voters in such key states as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. If a meaningful number of these voters end up voting for McCain, as I predict they will, then Obama's smooth road to the White House is going to run smack into a brick wall.

Earlier this week, I attended a John McCain campaign event in New York City. There were several Democrats in attendance. Not only people who are registered Democrats, but party leaders and workers who had been actively involved in Hillary Clinton's campaign. Indeed, the gentlemen who "keynoted" the event was a former publisher of the left-wing Village Voice magazine and a veteran of the Robert Kennedy, George McGovern, and Jimmy Carter campaigns. Hardly a right-wing conservative. He gave one of the best stump speeches I have heard why Barack Obama should not be elected president. (It comes down to not trusting Obama to keep the United States safe and strong in a dangerous world and rejecting Obama's "government knows best" attitude when it comes to domestic issues.) Another person I met at the event was a sprightly elderly woman who manned telephones for Hillary for five months, and now is supporting McCain.

There is nothing remotely similar to this taking place among Republicans. (No, Christopher Buckley endorsing Obama is not the same thing at all.)

Some more anecdotal evidence of a lack of support for Obama among Democrats: I live in the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City. You cannot find too many places in the country that are more liberal than that. Walking around my neighborhood during the 2004 presidential campaign, I felt "assaulted" on all sides by Kerry-Edwards buttons, bumper stickers, and posters. This year, there clearly is not the same level of outward support for Obama. It is remarkable (and welcome). Will most of the people in my neighborhood vote for Obama on election day? Of course. Will Obama win New York? Almost certainly. But the lack of enthusiasm for Obama among these Democrats, who I'm sure would be going gaga for Hillary, speaks volumes about Obama's true prospects for victory this year.

The point is simple: Don't believe the Obama hype coming out of the mainstream media. If the media were truly objective and unbiased, they would be covering the race much differently. Instead of trying to browbeat the country into voting for Obama, they would be analyzing the issues and factors that favor and disfavor both candidates. Instead of focusing on college students and intellectuals, they would be focusing on working-class and middle-class voters, especially "Hillary Democrats." These voters may very well determine the election. Yet this huge story is being ignored by the MSM.” American Thinker


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, October 24, 2008

Race baiting by Obama in His Own Words

Reasonable people who have been troubled by the associations of Obama with race-baiters, criminals and terrorists like Reverend Wright, Louis Farrakhan, William Ayers, Bernadette Dohrn and Tony Rezco have been roundly ridiculed by his supporters. They say things like, “just because he was in Wright’s church for 20 years doesn’t mean he agrees with him”, and “he was only 8 years old when Ayers was trying to kill policemen”. These statements are ludicrous, but they keep saying them with a straight face. There is nothing the left would not do to gain or keep power.

Fortunately, a video of Obama in his own words has been unearthed. It gives little doubt that his hidden agenda comes right out of the school of the black liberation theology spewed by his mentor, Wright, and that, if elected, he will try to gain reparations for blacks and a redistribution of the wealth you and I have earned over so many years of work and sacrifice.

I downloaded and saved a copy of this video. Please let me know if Youtube removes it, as they have removed so many other videos that told the truth about Obama and also the mortgage and housing scandal. I will then post it in my public files so you can download it for yourselves.

Also, if you really don't understand what black liberation theology is all about, you may wish to view this video of James Cone, it's founder. Many of the things that Barack Obama says are paraphrasings of Cone's own words.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Blunders of Previous Liberal Presidents

A liberal friend asked me why I am so afraid of an Obama presidency. My answer was to point out the incredible damage our country has suffered and is still suffering from due to the blunders of previous liberal presidents. These blunders sometimes take years to become apparent and decades or generations to overcome. I don’t know if we will ever get over the damage caused by Kennedy and Johnson’s Vietnam adventure. President Carter’s naive blunder and foolishness concerning Iran substituted a dictator who supported us with ones who hate us, and unleashed the fury of Muslim terrorism on an America they now saw as weak and cowardly.

The housing and mortgage crisis may have been facilitated by the greed of home speculators, lenders and Wall Street financial institutions, but the framework for this disaster was put in place by Presidents Carter and, especially, Clinton who pushed for and appointed cronies to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to force lenders to give loans to deadbeats.

Ignorant morons may still be out there protesting the Iraq War, and President Bush might have been more popular after 9/11 if he had wrung his hands and did nothing else but shed crocodile tears very publicly as did President Clinton after other terrorist attacks, but Bush’s policies showed the Arab world that America can and will respond with devastating force, and, together with his surveillance programs, President Bush has stopped Muslim terrorism on American targets in its tracks.

Only our grandchildren will know if the establishment of a democratic society in the middle of a 7th century group of cultures will take hold and flourish. One sure thing: if Obama does what he says he will do, and if he responds to foreign crises as did Carter and Clinton, our grandchildren will not live in the freedom and prosperity we have, if they are alive at all.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mortgage Crisis Began Under Clinton

Our liberal friends keep telling us that the Bush Administration is responsible for the housing and mortgage mess and that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Democrats had nothing to do with it. The fact is that Clinton and other liberal Democrats pushed for easing of the rules, and Dodd, Frank and Obama resisted any tightening, as well as benefited financially for their efforts. Our friend, Gabe, unearthed this telling piece from the New York Times from 1999. Senator Obama, Bill Clinton was President then.

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

By STEVEN A. HOLMES New York Times 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.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Interesting Quotes and a Beaut from Biden

October 20, 2008 ABC News Blog

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., on Sunday guaranteed that if elected president, Sen. Barack Obama., D-Ill., will be tested by an international crisis within his first six months in office, a comment Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., intends to highlight Monday, aides said, in order to highlight concerns some voters have had about Obama's preparedness to be commander-in-chief.

"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee said at a Seattle fundraiser Sunday, "it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said, including the Middle East and Russia as possibilities, "and he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Some more interesting quotes:

"You cannot go to a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian Accent." -- Joe Biden

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.I mean, that's a storybook, man." -- Joe Biden

"The more people learn about them (Obama and Hillary) and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate." -- Joe Biden

"My impression is [Obama] thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany" of peaceful coexistence among warring sects. I've seen zero evidence of that." -- Joe Biden

"We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a gigantic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out -- equally a mistake." -- Joe Biden

"ANNOUNCER: What does Barack Obama's running mate say about Barack Obama?
ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You were asked, "Is he ready?" You said, "I think he can be ready but right now, I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."
JOE BIDEN: I think that I stand by the statement.
ANNOUNCER: And what does he say about John McCain?
BIDEN: I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off." -- Biden Quoted In McCain Ad

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed." -- Joe Biden

"Chuck, Stand Up, Chuck. Let Them See You. Oh, God Love You, What Am I Talking About?" -- Joe Biden to a man in a wheelchair

The Best Of The Rest

"This is not a man who sees America as you see America, and as I see America," Palin said. "Our opponent, though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect -- imperfect enough that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country. Americans need to know this." -- Sarah Palin

"I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." -- Obama's friend, Bill Ayers

"Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at." -- -- Obama's friend, Bill Ayers in 1970

"Dig it! Manson killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they shoved a fork into a victim's stomach." -- Obama's friend, Bernardine Dohrn

"We made mistakes, and we'd do it again. I wish that we'd done more. I wish we'd been more militant." -- Obama's friend, Bernardine Dohrn

"If (Hillary) gave (Obama) one of her cojones, they'd both have two." -- James Carville

"I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002." -- Hillary Clinton

"So I think (Obama) definitely has convinced people that he stands for change and for hope, and I can't wait to see what he stands for." -- Susan Sarandon

"I'm not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality." -- Paul Krugman

"Obama is all style. No substance. He's all 'I want to send children to the moon,' and then when you ask how he says 'Hope.'" -- Dawn Summers

"(Obama's) big themes are Change Hope and Unity...I suspect that after he's elected, we'll hear much less about Change and Unity and a lot more about Hope. As in, 'I Hope this doesn't end in a huge disaster. I Hope he doesn't wreck the economy. I Hope he's not too overwhelmed by the complexity and horror of the world. I Hope I survive this administration.'" -- A reader at The Corner

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept." -- Geraldine Ferraro

"So now we are in this Orwellian paradox of seeing Obama's base turn out in record numbers on the basis apparently of race, but on the other hand the implied warning that if anyone else were likewise to consider that fact, then he would be racialist.
So is he an identity-politics candidate or a post racialist unifier? Or both? It all reminds me of the perennial complaints of the National Council of La Raza (the race) lecturing insensitive others about their unfair consideration of race in matters of illegal immigration. This is very disappointing, because lost in Obamania is the complete repudiation of his original promise precisely not to become a racial candidate." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"After his victory last week in Wisconsin and again at the Austin debate, Obama revealed himself to be the most liberal candidate since George McGovern. He is not thrilled with building a border fence. He wants to meet with Raul Castro. He will raise taxes and spend a boatload of money on new programs. He will exit Iraq pronto and spend that money on domestic programs. He opposes any restriction on partial birth abortion and thinks the District of Columbia's total handgun ban is a 'common sense' regulation." -- Jennifer Rubin

"(Obama) voted against a bill that would add penalties for crimes committed as a part of gang activity and against a bill that would make it a criminal offense for accused gang members, free on bond or probation, to associate with other gang members. In 1999, he was the only state senator to oppose a bill that prohibited early prison release for criminal sexual offenders." -- Amanda Carpenter

"Here is a guy who, when he visited regarding Hanford, Washington, said
Here's something that you will rarely hear from a politician, and that is that I'm not familiar with the Hanford, uuuuhh, site, so I don't know exactly what's going on there. (Applause.) Now, having said that, I promise you I'll learn about it by the time I leave here on the ride back to the airport.
Wow. And the crowd applauded him! Here's the kicker, Obama voted on funding for the Hanford facility." -- Say Anything

"Explaining last week why he was trailing Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, Obama again botched basic geography: 'Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it's not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle.' On what map is Arkansas closer to Kentucky than Illinois?" -- Michelle Malkin

"Obama has as much trouble with numbers as he has with maps. Last March, on the anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Ala., he claimed his parents united as a direct result of the civil rights movement:
'There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Ala., because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born.'
Obama was born in 1961. The Selma march took place in 1965. His spokesman, Bill Burton, later explained that Obama was 'speaking metaphorically about the civil rights movement as a whole.'" -- Michelle Malkin

Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge." -- John McCain

"(Obama) really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time." -- John McCain

"I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did." -- John McCain

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, October 19, 2008

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

Some quotes of interest to thinking people:

"You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." -- Barack Obama

"Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula? I mean, they're charging a lot of money for this stuff." -- Barack Obama

"...I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment -- this was the time -- when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals." -- Barack Obama

"I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions." -- Barack Obama

"You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a (flag) pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest..." -- Barack Obama

"And if that child should ever get the chance to travel the world and someone should ask her where is she from, we believe that she should always be able to hold her head high with pride in her voice when she answers, 'I am an American.'
That is the course we seek. That is the change we are calling for." -- Barack Obama

"America is ..., uh, is no longer, uh ... what it could be, what it once was. And I say to myself, I don't want that future for my children." -- Barack Obama

"I had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though. ..." -- Barack Obama

"Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man. Except the highs hadn't been about that, me trying to prove what a down brother I was. Not by then, anyway. I got high for just the opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory. I had discovered that it didn't make any difference whether you smoked reefer in the white classmate's sparkling new van, or in the dorm room of some brother you'd met down at the gym, or on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school and now spent most of their time looking for an excuse to brawl. ...You might just be bored, or alone. Everybody was welcome into the club of disaffection." -- Barack Obama

"...I inhaled frequently. That was the point." -- Barack Obama

"I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying." -- Barack Obama

"I am not in favor of concealed weapons. I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations." -- Barack Obama

"Obama supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions." -- Obama's website

"...I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." -- Barack Obama

"Rick Warren: ...Now, let's deal with abortion; 40 million abortions since Roe v. Wade. As a pastor, I have to deal with this all of the time, all of the pain and all of the conflicts. I know this is a very complex issue. Forty million abortions, at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?"

Barack Obama: "Well, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."

"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong." -- Barack Obama

"Over the last 15 months, we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states? I think one left to go." -- Barack Obama

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen." -- Barack Obama

"As Sen. Hillary Clinton was preparing to campaign here today, Sen. Barack Obama was meeting with voters at a diner and apparently pretty hungry.
'Why can't I just eat my waffle?' he said, when asked a foreign policy question by a reporter at the Glider Diner." -- Barack Obama

"In Indonesia, I had spent two years at a Muslim school, two years at a Catholic school. In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell my mother that I made faces during Koranic studies." -- Barack Obama

"Let's not play games. I was suggesting - you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith." -- Barack Obama

"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling conventions. We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated.

But this strategy alone couldn't provide the distance I wanted, from Joyce or my past. After all, there were thousands of so-called campus radicals, most of them white and tenured and happily tolerant. No, it remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names." -- Barack Obama

"It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: (White) People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied, they were relieved -- such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn't seem angry all the time." -- Barack Obama

"That's just how white folks will do you. It wasn't merely the cruelty involved; I was learning that black people could be mean and then some. It was a particular brand of arrogance, an obtuseness in otherwise sane people that brought forth our bitter laughter. It was as if whites didn't know that they were being cruel in the first place. Or at least thought you deserving of their scorn." -- Barack Obama

"It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks' greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere...That's the world! On which hope sits!" -- Barack Obama

"Nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He's risky." -- Barack Obama

"I don't believe it is possible to transcend race in this country. Race is a factor in this society. The legacy of Jim Crow and slavery has not gone away." -- Barack Obama

"I can no more disown (Jeremiah Wright) than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe." -- Barack Obama

"The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person..." -- Barack Obama

Barack's Race Baiting Spiritual Mentor & Confidant

"What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice. He's much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I'm not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that's involved in national politics." -- Barack Obama

"Just before Obama's nationally televised campaign kickoff rally last Feb. 10, the candidate disinvited Wright from giving the public invocation. Wright explained: 'When [Obama's] enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli' to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, 'a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell.'

According to Wright, Obama then told him, 'You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we've decided is that it's best for you not to be out there in public.' But privately, Obama and his family prayed with Wright just before the presidential announcement." -- Ronald Kessler, Newsmax

"Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse [Jackson] and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body." -- Jeremiah Wright

"...White folks' greed runs a world in need..." -- Jeremiah Wright

"In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just 'disappeared' as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns." -- Jeremiah Wright

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God d*mn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God d*mn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God d*mn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme." -- Jeremiah Wright

"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost." -- Jeremiah Wright

"America is still the No. 1 killer in the world." -- Jeremiah Wright

"We started the AIDS virus. ...We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty." -- Jeremiah Wright

"The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied." -- Jeremiah Wright

Michelle Obama

"(America is) just downright mean." -- Michelle Obama

"For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction." -- Michelle Obama

"It's easier to hold onto your own stereotypes and misconceptions, it makes you feel justified in your own ignorance. That's America. So the challenge for us is, are we ready for change?" -- Michelle Obama

"...(T)he realities are that, you know, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, you know." -- Michelle Obama

"What I notice about men, all men, is that their order is me, my family, God is in there somewhere, but me is first." -- Michelle Obama

"I wake up every morning wondering how on earth I am going to pull off that next minor miracle to get through the day. I know that everybody in this room is going through this. That is the dilemma women face today. Every woman that I know, regardless of race, education, income, background, political affiliation, is struggling to keep her head above water." -- Michelle Obama

"Who's got time to go to the fruit stand? Who can afford it, first of all?" -- Michelle Obama

"Asked how she feels about Bill Clinton's use of the phrase 'fairytale' to describe her husband's characterization of his position on the Iraq war, (Michelle Obama) first responded: 'No.' But, after a few seconds of contemplation, and gesturing with her fingernails, she told the reporter: 'I want to rip his eyes out!'
Noticing an aide giving her a nervous look, she added: 'Kidding! See, this is what gets me into trouble.'" -- WorldNetDaily

"The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more." -- Michelle Obama

"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed." -- Michelle Obama

The Voice Of Experience In The Obama Campaign

"You cannot go to a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian Accent." -- Joe Biden

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.I mean, that's a storybook, man." -- Joe Biden

"The more people learn about them (Obama and Hillary) and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate." -- Joe Biden

"My impression is [Obama] thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany" of peaceful coexistence among warring sects. I've seen zero evidence of that." -- Joe Biden

"We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a gigantic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out -- equally a mistake." -- Joe Biden

"ANNOUNCER: What does Barack Obama's running mate say about Barack Obama?
ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You were asked, "Is he ready?" You said, "I think he can be ready but right now, I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."
JOE BIDEN: I think that I stand by the statement.
ANNOUNCER: And what does he say about John McCain?
BIDEN: I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off." -- Biden Quoted In McCain Ad

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed." -- Joe Biden

"Chuck, Stand Up, Chuck. Let Them See You. Oh, God Love You, What Am I Talking About?" -- Joe Biden to a man in a wheelchair


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, October 17, 2008

We Are In a Fight for our Very Lives and Freedoms

As we look at the housing and mortgage scandals arising out of radical socialist programs (and dishonesty on Wall Street) and at the corruption of ACORN and other liberal groups dedicated to electing Democrats by any means necessary, conservative and traditional Americans who love their country and are proud of its history are at a marked disadvantage.

We looked on with dismay as Democrats tried every way they could to defeat American troops who were fighting to rid the world of Saddam and plant a democracy in the center of a middle east dedicated to a death culture better suited to the seventh century; and we tried, but failed, to understand how the New York Times could reveal the existence of a surveillance program aimed at foreign terrorists. This was treasonous behavior on the part of the Times, but it was supported by most Congressional Democrats.

What we fail to understand, and perhaps never will, is that we face two categories of domestic enemy: one group that hates this country, its traditions and its history, and another group who may love their country, but believe it is fatally flawed and unfair. They form two wings of the Democratic Party, and, together with some old-fashioned progressives, they always work off the same page.

Although conservative Republicans have a few crazies in their midst, these crazies comprise a tiny minority who never have their views picked up and run in the mainstream press. On the other side are millions of liberal Democrats who believe that we traditionalists are evil people, and that ANY behavior, even criminal activity, is justified to defeat us. They are not upset by the revelations about ACORN or the roles of Obama, Dodd and Frank in the mortgage crisis; they are only upset that these revelations might slow down their reach for more power. These are the same people who, with Obama stickers on their cars, keep trying to run me off the road because my car has a McCain-Palin bumper-sticker. These people hate us and want us dead. This is what they wanted for President Bush, VP Cheney and Tony Snow. This is what they want for anyone who does not agree with them.

Now Joe the plumber is being slimed and smeared by Obama’s people and by the entire press corps, just because he dared to ask a question to which Obama’s answer laid bare his radical socialism; we have to fight back just as we fought back when Sarah Palin was similarly slimed, and is still having the most outrageous lies told about her.

I hate to say this, but it is entirely possible to me that a second civil war may lie ahead of us. I know that I am not willing to give in to their plans for us, and that my hatred for them has now approached their hatred for me and for people like me; and most of the people I know feel much the same way.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Some Truths Get Out re Obama and also Warming

Despite the stranglehold the mainstream press has clamped down on any unfavorable aspects of Senator Obama’s character, or his record, or the actual impact of his campaign promises, the truth manages sometimes to get out. This is also true of the true state and causes of global warming and cooling. Here are a few examples:

Searching for Obama's 95 Percent

10.16.08 American Spectator (Excerpt)

HEMPSTEAD. N.Y. -- "We are going to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans," Barack Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, said in the spin room here at Hofstra University following the final debate of the 2008 presidential election.

Plouffe was repeating one of the boldest claims made by the Obama campaign. It's a claim that the Wall Street Journal editorial board dubbed "Obama's 95% Illusion," noting that more than a third of Americans don't pay any income taxes, and that what Obama's plan does do is offer a raft of subsidies and government payments to individuals and families that he redefines as "tax cuts." His proposal looks more like a redistribution scheme than an honest effort to reduce taxes -- as he revealed on Monday when he told a now famous Ohio plumber that his plan aimed to "spread the wealth around."

Alaska glaciers grew this year, thanks to colder weather

October 14, 2008 Anchorage Daily News (Excerpt)

“Two hundred years of glacial shrinkage in Alaska, and then came the winter and summer of 2007-2008.

Unusually large amounts of winter snow were followed by unusually chill temperatures in June, July and August.

"In mid-June, I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound," said U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia. "On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet of new snow on the surface of the Taku Glacier in late July. At Bering Glacier, a landslide I am studying, located at about 1,500 feet elevation, did not become snow free until early August.

"In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years."

Never before in the history of a research project dating back to 1946 had the Juneau Icefield witnessed the kind of snow buildup that came this year. It was similar on a lot of other glaciers too.”

Democrat Deregulators

10.16.08 American Spectator (Excerpt)

WASHINGTON – “How is it that Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain has been badly damaged by this financial crisis while the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, is successfully presenting himself as a financial genius, capable of working Christ’s miracle of the loaves and fishes on our economy?

The financial markets froze up because the Democrats prevailed on mortgage lenders -- mainly Freddie Mac and Fannie Mac -- to relax standards against hitherto unqualified property buyers. They did it out of an ideological commitment to their thesis that poor people living in private homes would be better citizens. It was a noble vision. Yet it was economically untenable. A huge real estate bubble resulted, and now that the bubble has burst the entire economy is imperiled.

Curiously, the Democrats have not suffered the consequences of their “deregulation” of the mortgage market. Instead, they have hung the “deregulation” canard on McCain.

As the record makes clear, it is McCain who signed on to a letter with 19 other Republican senators in 2006 calling for the tightening up of Fannie and Freddie’s loans. Even before that, in the summer of 2005, Republican Senator Richard Shelby fashioned a bill in the Senate Banking Committee to impose stricter regulations on Fannie and Freddie only to see it blocked from getting to the Senate floor by a party line vote that kept it in committee. The Republicans favored this regulation tightening. The Democrats opposed it.”


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Amtrak’s Auto-train? Not Such a Good Experience

Amtrak has a special train called the auto-train for people traveling to and from Florida and wanting to take their cars, but not wanting to drive all the way. The train runs from just south of Washington, DC to just north of Orlando, FL, and the fares are reasonable. Norma and I took this train for the first time last Saturday, and shipped our Grand Caravan on it. This is a report on our experience.

Unless you enjoy such pursuits as moving your hand over an open flame, you probably wouldn’t have liked traveling on Amtrak’s reputed auto-train on Saturday, which was a horror show for us. Admittedly, part of the blame for our distress on this trip was due to my booking of a ‘roomette’ for two for the journey. Amtrak’s ‘roomette’ is suitable as a sitting and sleeping compartment only if both parties are under 30 years old and less than five feet tall. The seats were designed by someone who probably liked to pull wings off grasshoppers when he was a child. There was no way one could position oneself comfortably in the seat, and because we were of normal height, no way to sit in the facing seats without interleaving your knees and legs together. When it was time to go to sleep, the seats were made up into an upper and lower bunk, with about six inches of space from the lower bunk to the sliding door. It was a feat of engineering for me to get myself into the upper bunk, and, with only about a foot of space above my head, I almost needed to call the porter to help me get back down from it in the morning.

The dinner was superb, and much better than we ever expected, but shortly thereafter, the real trouble started. The room in our ‘roomette’ was so lacking in space that I decided to spend time in the lounge car where people were sitting quietly, talking, playing cards, reading, etc. Shortly after I arrived, however, the crew decided we would all like to watch the movie, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, a movie obviously made for 12 year old boys and starring the 66 year old Harrison Ford, who ought, by now, to know better. Fearing that someone, somewhere on the train, might not catch every word, the train crew cranked up the volume to that which you only encounter if you have the misfortune of going too early to any movie theater, and have to sit through the previews. Most people just left or suffered in silence; the train crew had disappeared.

To make matters worse, about this time the train came to a stop, and we sat for about a half hour not knowing what was happening. At that time there was an announcement that a train ahead of us, on the single track, had plowed into an automobile at a train crossing, and we could not proceed until the mess was cleaned up. We were also told that if the police needed to make a homicide investigation, the wait could be very lengthy. The couple beside me, who otherwise seemed normal, told me gleefully that this was nothing, that on a previous auto-train trip they were stuck on the train for two days, and the crew had to send out for pizza for everyone. This time the wait was only for three hours, so we got off lightly.

After I scrambled out of the upper bunk about 5:30 the next morning, Norma and I made our way forward to the dining car, where a very nice continental breakfast was laid out. Unfortunately the air conditioning was not then working in the dining car, and Norma, who suffers easily from any kind of motion sickness, became nauseous and ran back to the ‘roomette’ to get some air and sit with a barf bag for a while. I continued to have a nice breakfast, and eventually the AC came on. After checking on Norma I decided to leave her alone and let her sleep, and I returned to the lounge car, where, once again, the train came to a dead stop.

After another delay, the announcement was made that a freight train ahead of us had “taken out a switch”, and we had to wait until it was determined what would be done about it. After about an hour we were told that another engine would be attached to the rear of our train (which was three quarters of a mile long), and our train would be backed up about 6 miles, while Amtrak tried to locate a pilot who was qualified to take us into the Orlando area along a different route. After another delay, we were then told that a crew was working at repairing the switch, and we would probably be underway in about 30 minutes. After about 30 minutes, we were again told that we would be on our way in 30 minutes; after which we were told we would be moving in 15 minutes, and then, again, in 30 minutes. Finally we started moving and found we were in the Jacksonville, FL area, and we would proceed very slowly until we got through the “switch”.

While all this was going on the train crew decided to deflect our concerns and announced that the movie, “Get Smart”, would be shown in the lounge car. This movie would have 12 year old boys walking out on it, and the volume was set at the same level as the movie the previous night. Fortunately I decided to explore the smoking area in the lower level and found it empty and quiet. It smelled a bit, but I sat and rested there until it was announced that we were close to our destination.

Somehow, with all the delays, we were only about three hours late coming into Sanford, FL, and we departed our train to await the unloading of the vehicles. Our troubles were not quite over. When you arrive at Lorton, near DC, you find a large, modern station with several TV’s, plenty of chairs and room, and a nice shop with gifts and sundries. The huge crowd waiting to depart had no trouble finding seats and a place for luggage. Someone should tell the Amtrak management that THE SAME NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO GET ON THE TRAIN IN LORTON HAVE TO GET OFF THE TRAIN IN SANFORD. I say this because the Sanford station is old and tiny and could not possibly accommodate the number of people on the train. It was pandemonium there.

Fortunately our car was one of the first ones off the train, and we were able to get out of there before we wilted completely. I don’t think we will try the auto-train again, although, I must admit, I met many people who told me that they took this train often; most of them also had horror stories to tell. The first words out of the mouth of the first person I met in Lorton told me that last year they left 4 hours late. There must be some sort of mystique of shared hardship that binds these frequent travelers; I didn’t catch the mystique.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, October 13, 2008

Will Radical Socialists Steal the Rest of America?

The radical socialists have stolen our retirement money, they have stolen the values of our homes, they have ruined and closed our banks and stolen the value of our vote, and, now, the polls say, they will apply the final coupe de grace with an Obama victory in November. First they infiltrated our schools and colleges and our media; then the liberal Democrats passed laws that extorted and forced banks into giving home mortgages to persons who had no chance of repaying these loans – to people with little or no income – in the guise of “fairness”. It’s not “fair”, you see, that you who worked and saved and planned and purchased a home that you could and did afford should have a home, while those who are unable to earn an adequate income should not have their own homes.

Under the pressure of regulations and fines, banks gave out millions of these loans, which led to an atmosphere of widespread fraud and enticed normally honest people into dishonesty, not only among the recipients, but also among the financial institutions and government-backed enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which bought and packaged these mortgages. So many fraudulent, subprime mortgages were issued to so many people that a housing bubble was created, and when the bubble burst, the book values of these mortgages and the derivatives based on them also crashed.

While these socialists were putting in place this corruption of the American dream – this fraud on honest home buyers and savers, they were also electing more socialists (Democrats) through corrupt organizations we funded, like ACORN, who were registering non-existent people to vote. ACORN, which is also heavily involved in the housing scandal, was not registering Republicans, they were registering fraudulent Democrat votes.

Even though the liberal, Obama-supporting, mainstream press have tried to keep these facts from American voters, we have learned who the politicians were who have been most involved in this disaster. They are Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Barack Obama. Obama, with his ACORN connections and former role as a “community organizer”, received huge contributions from Fannie Mae and hired their corrupt ex-managers to work in his campaign. Dodd and Frank prevented any action to restrict the lending practices of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Dodd not only received favorable treatment on his own home mortgage, but collected more in political contributions than any other Senator. Since Obama entered the Senate, he has collected the most in contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Please vote accordingly

The coming liberal thugocracy

Michael Barone October 13, 2008 Washington Times (Excerpt)

“"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors," Barack Obama told a crowd in Elko, Nev. "I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face." Actually, Obama supporters are doing a lot more than getting into people's faces. They seem determined to shut people up.

That's what Obama supporters, alerted by campaign e-mails, did when conservative Stanley Kurtz appeared on Milt Rosenberg's WGN radio program in Chicago. Mr. Kurtz had been researching Mr. Obama's relationship with unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers in Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers in the Richard J. Daley Library in Chicago - papers that were closed off to him for some days, apparently at the behest of Obama supporters.

Obama fans jammed WGN's phone lines and sent in hundreds of protest e-mails. The message was clear to anyone who would follow Mr. Rosenberg's example. We will make trouble for you if you let anyone make the case against The One.

Other Obama supporters have threatened critics with criminal prosecution. In September, St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce warned citizens that they would bring criminal libel prosecutions against anyone who made statements against Mr. Obama that were "false." I had been under the impression that the Alien and Sedition Acts had gone out of existence in 1801-'02. Not so, apparently, in metropolitan St. Louis. Similarly, the Obama campaign called for a criminal investigation of the American Issues Project when it ran ads highlighting Mr. Obama's ties to Mr. Ayers….

Corporate liberals have done their share in shutting down anti-liberal speech, too. "Saturday Night Live" ran a spoof of the financial crisis that skewered Democrats like House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank and liberal contributors Herbert and Marion Sandler, who sold toxic-waste-filled Golden West to Wachovia Bank for $24 billion. Kind of surprising, but not for long. The tape of the broadcast disappeared from NBC's Web site and was replaced with another that omitted the references to Mr. Frank and the Sandlers. Evidently NBC and its parent, General Electric, don't want people to hear speech that attacks liberals.

Then there's the Democrats' "card check" legislation that would abolish secret ballot elections in determining whether employees are represented by unions. The unions' strategy is obvious: Send a few thugs over to employees' homes - we know where you live - and get them to sign cards that will trigger a union victory without giving employers a chance to be heard.

Once upon a time, liberals prided themselves, with considerable reason, as the staunchest defenders of free speech. Union organizers in the 1930s and 1940s made the case that they should have access to employees to speak freely to them, and union leaders like George Meany and Walter Reuther were ardent defenders of the First Amendment.

Today's liberals seem to be taking their marching orders from other quarters. Specifically, from the college and university campuses where administrators, armed with speech codes, have for years been disciplining and subjecting to sensitivity training any students who dare to utter thoughts that liberals find offensive. The campuses that once prided themselves as zones of free expression are now the least free part of our society.

Obama supporters who found the campuses congenial and Mr. Obama himself, who has chosen to live all his adult life in university communities, seem to find it entirely natural to suppress speech they don't like and seem utterly oblivious to claims this violates the letter and spirit of the First Amendment. In this campaign, we have seen the coming of the Obama thugocracy, suppressing free speech, and we may see its flourishing in the four or eight years ahead.” Washington Times

• Michael Barone is a nationally syndicated columnist, respected by all sides.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Can A Leopard Change Spots? Can Obama Really Be Trusted?

Judging by last night’s debate and other recent statements, Senator Obama has reversed himself on a lifetime of positions, votes and statements to convince you that he is a fairly conservative and moderate guy who loves America, its history and its military. Only a few months ago, though, we learned he was part of a black, liberation theology church preaching hatred for America and for white people. He has thrown them under the bus now and has also: reversed himself on taxes, on saluting our flag, on respect for our military, on surveillance of terrorists, on public financing of campaigns, on Russia’s role in Georgia, on the threat that Iran poses, on gun control, on his ideas on health care – and on just about every vote he ever cast that made him the most liberal member of Congress.

While his thugs are out silencing his opponents and sliming Sarah Palin and John McCain, and those who ran against him in Illinois (and who were forced to drop out because of the dirt thrown at them) are putting their lives back together, we find that we should not worry about his close association with a domestic terrorist because “Obama was only 8 years old when Ayers was setting off bombs to kill government officials and policemen”. Let’s just look at this one aspect of his life and his lies.

In 2001, when Obama was 40 years old, this picture appeared in an article Ayers wrote stating he had “no regrets” for the bombing campaign he was part of. October 6, 2008 (Excerpt)

"The Relationship Between Barack Obama And Bill Ayers Is Much More Extensive Than Obama's Campaign Is Willing To Admit

Obama's Top Campaign Staff Have Attempted To Downplay The Relationship Between Obama And Bill Ayers:

Obama Spokesman Robert Gibbs Said That Obama And Ayers Weren't Close And That Obama Was Only 8 Years Old When Ayers Was Bombing Buildings. Robert Gibbs: "If you read the article ... it says these two men weren't close, this man isn't involved in our campaign. Bill Ayers is somebody that Barack Obama said his actions were despicable and these happened when Barack Obama was 8 years old." (FOX News' "FOX & Friends," 10/6/08)

Gibbs Has Also Limited The Relationship Between Obama And Ayers To Serving On Two Boards Together. John Roberts: "Barack Obama knew Bill Ayers and had contact with him between 1995 and 2005. Exactly what was the nature of the relationship?" Robert Gibbs: "Well, John, as The New York Times reported this weekend, they served on two boards together during that time period." (CNN's "American Morning," 10/6/08)

Even Obama Has Previously Referred To Ayers As "A Guy Who Lives In My Neighborhood" And Not Someone He Exchanges Ideas With "On A Regular Basis." Obama: "George, but this is an example of what I'm talking about. This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense, George." (Sen. Barack Obama, ABC Democrat Candidates Presidential Debate, Philadelphia, PA, 4/16/08)

But Obama's Connections With Bill Ayers Are Much More Extensive Than He Or His Campaign Staff Is Willing To Admit:

In 1995, During Obama's First State Senate Campaign, William Ayers And Wife Bernadine Dohrn Hosted A Meeting Of Chicago Liberals At Their Home For Obama, Which One Attendee Said Was Aimed At "Launching Him." "In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district's influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, they're better known nationally as two of the most notorious -- and unrepentant -- figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement. ... 'I can remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill Ayers' house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the senate and running for Congress,' said Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care, of the info rmal gathering at the home of Ayers and his wife, Dohrn.

'[Palmer] identified [Obama] as her successor.' ... Dr. Young and another guest, Maria Warren, described it similarly: as an introduction to Hyde Park liberals of the handpicked successor to Palmer, a well-regarded figure on the left. 'When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the living room of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn,' Warren wrote on her blog in 2005. 'They were launching him -- introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread.'" (Ben Smith, "Obama Once Visited '60s Radicals," The Politico, 1/22/08)

From March Of 1995 Until September Of 1997, Obama And Ayers Attended At Least Seven Meetings Together Relating To The Chicago Annenberg Challenge. (Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Board Of Directors Meeting, Minutes Of The Board, 3/15/95, 3/31/95, 4/13/95, 6/5/95, 9/30/97; National Annenberg Challenge Evaluation Meeting, List Of Participants, 5/24/95; Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Chicago School Reform Collaborative Meeting, Minutes, 10/23/96)

• NOTE: Bill Ayers Was Asked To Help Obama Formulate The Chicago Annenberg Challenge By-Laws. (Chicago Annenberg Challenge Board Of Directors Minutes, 3/15/95)
In 1997, Obama Praised Ayers' Book On The Juvenile Justice System. "The two men were involved in efforts to reform the city's education system. They appeared together on academic panels, including one organized by Michelle Obama to discuss the juvenile justice system, an area of mutual concern. Mr. Ayers's book on the subject won a rave review in The Chicago Tribune by Mr. Obama, who called it 'a searing and timely account.'" (Jo Becker and Christopher Drew, "Pragmatic Politics, Forged On The South Side," The New York Times, 5/11/08)

• Obama On William Ayers' "A Kind And Just Parent: The Children Of Juvenile Court": "A searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair." (Chicago Tribune, 12/21/97)
"[Obama And Ayers] Have Also Appeared Jointly On Two Academic Panels, One In 1997 And Another In 2001." (Russell Berman, "Obama's Ties To Left Come Under Scrutiny," The New York Sun, 2/19/08)

From 1999 To 2002, Obama Served With Ayers On The Board Of Directors For Woods Fund Of Chicago. "[Ayers] served with [Obama] from 1999 to 2002 on the board of the Woods Fund, an anti-poverty group." (Timothy J. Burger, "Obama's Chicago Ties Might Fuel 'Republican Attack Machine'," Bloomberg, 2/15/08)

• During The Time Obama And Ayers Served Together On The Woods Fund, Ayers Was Quoted Saying "I Don't Regret Setting Bombs ... I Feel We Didn't Do Enough." "'I don't regret setting bombs,' Bill Ayers said. 'I feel we didn't do enough.' Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970's as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago." (Dinitia Smith, "No Regrets For A Love Of Explosives," The New York Times, 9/11/01)

• NOTE: Obama, Born August 14th, 1961, Was 40 Years Old When Ayers Was Quoted. (Obama For America Website,, Accessed 10/6/08; Dinitia Smith, "No Regrets For A Love Of Explosives," The New York Times, 9/11/01)

• While Obama And Ayers Were Serving On The Woods Fund Together, Ayers Posed Standing On An American Flag For An Article In Chicago Magazine Entitled "No Regrets." (Marcia Froelke Coburn, "No Regrets," Chicago Magazine, 8/01)



October 8, 2008 New York Post (Excerpt)

“WHEN John Murtagh was 9 years old, Bill Ayers' friends tried to kill him.

"I remember my mother's pulling me from the tangle of sheets and running to the kitchen where my father stood. Through the large windows overlooking the yard, all we could see was the bright glow of flames below. We didn't leave our burning house for fear of who might be waiting outside," wrote Murtagh recently in City Journal.

It wasn't personal. John's dad was a judge presiding over a trial of some Black Panthers. John still remembers the red graffiti on the sidewalk the next morning: "Free the Panther 21; The Viet Cong Have Won; Kill the Pigs."

As best he recalls, Bernardine Dohrn, who's now Ayers' wife, first claimed credit for bombing John's home in 1970.

John Murtagh is a now lawyer and Yonkers city councilman running for the state Senate on the GOP ticket. I reached him this week through his campaign. It wasn't hard.

Has Barack Obama ever tried?” New Yorl Post

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, October 06, 2008

If You Are Already Angry About the Bailout, Don’t Read This

If I thought I was angry about the housing and mortgage crisis before, an article in Sunday’s Providence Journal about many actual cases of mortgage fraud in Rhode Island has escalated my anger to a level where I would not trust myself to be in the same room as Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, and I will not sleep until liberal Democrats like Obama are defeated. The article gives specific instances of how low-income people were prodded by realtors and lenders into accepting huge subprime mortgages to buy houses they could not possibly afford. They are all in default and all have lost those houses, and we, who worked and saved and acted responsibly are going to pay the tab for them and for radical liberalism run amok. Yes, there was greed and fraud involved, and yes, the victims who signed on to these impossible mortgages bear a lot of responsibility for this crash, but the main culprits are liberals who think our society is evil and who are trying to transfer wealth from those who earn and plan to those who do not.

From the beginning of time, whenever a government program has been put in place to provide benefits to a particular class of people, con-artists and people who might not ordinarily get caught up in immoral and even criminal activities seem to come out of the woodwork to scam and corrupt the process. With Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Community Reinvestment Act providing the framework and the funds, this has been the story behind the worst economic crisis in 75 years, and blaming the Bush Administration in order to elect the Democrats who caused it will be the epitome of putting the foxes into the hen house, and then they will pay no price for their insanity and their corruption.

Most of us know by now that this whole mess started with an attempt by liberal Democrats to extend home ownership to poor people who could not qualify for conventional mortgages, and then the Clinton Administration created a huge expansion of this process. When the Bush Administration and Senator McCain tried to put the brakes on, Senator Dodd and Congressman Frank managed to stifle their attempts, while Democrat cronies now involved in the Obama campaign made off with millions. The examples cited by the Journal were not on welfare, they were hard-working people who happened to work in low-paying jobs. In Rhode Island, most of the recipients who received this poisonous largess were Blacks, Latinos and “Native Americans”.

They tried to meet their obligations, but a simple calculation would have revealed that this was impossible. Now they are much worse off than they were before. Talk about unintended consequences of liberal foolishness and radical hatred of those who work and succeed in realizing the American dream.

Make sure everyone in your circle of friends understands the realities of this situation; make sure Obama is not elected.

The article is a long one and needs to be read in its entirety. Unfortunately, the internet version does not include many of the captions and exhibits that appeared in the actual newspaper version.

A street struggles in Providence

October 5, 2008 Providence Journal (Excerpts)

PROVIDENCE — The mail keeps coming, long after the residents are gone.

Grocery store circulars, water bills, medical bills and notices from loan-servicing companies addressed to houses the postman knows are vacant. The undeliverable mail gets stacked in the back of the postal truck.

In zip code 02907 of the city’s West End, where the house-foreclosure rate is more than six times the statewide average, postman Mike Ferreira’s delivery route is shrinking.

On Bellevue Avenue, homeowners who plant flower gardens and sweep their front steps live next door to boarded-up triple-deckers with weedy yards and trash-strewn sidewalks. Foreclosures have a way of rotting neighborhoods like cavities, from the inside out.

Five of the 49 houses on one block of Bellevue Avenue are vacant. And this is one of the better streets.

Here, in the house with the icicle lights, is the Fernandez family. There, with the SUV parked out back, is the Vallejo family.

The homeowners of Bellevue Avenue are janitors and cab drivers and rental property managers — many of them first-generation immigrants who bought into the American dream of homeownership.

Now, these homeowners who mow their lawns and trim their hedges and paint their front porches are angry. They’re angry at tenants who can’t or won’t pay their rent.

They’re angry at thieves who break into the boarded-up houses to steal the copper.

They’re angry at the litter collecting on their sidewalks.

And they’re angry because some of them, too, are losing their homes.

BELLEVUE AVENUE is stitched into a patchwork of residential streets in the city’s West End and a smaller slice of Olneyville that form a one-third-square-mile swatch of the city which the census bureau calls Tract 14.

The neighborhood between Cranston and Dexter streets is a checkerboard of two- and three-family houses where, during the 1930s, Russian, English, Irish, Polish and French-Canadian immigrants lived. By the turn of this century, over half of the residents — 55.7 percent — were Latino, according to the 2000 census.

During the housing market’s peak in 2006, more than 6 in 10 loans for houses in Tract 14 were risky “subprime” mortgages — the largest concentration anywhere in Providence County, according to an analysis by The Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit group in Washington. The biggest share of subprime mortgages — 67.3 percent — went to Latino borrowers.

Subprime loans, designed for borrowers with blemished credit, typically carry high interest rates and fees. During the first half of this decade, their use expanded dramatically around the country, especially among Latino and African-American borrowers.

Lenders seeking to enlarge their portfolios in Rhode Island discovered a large untapped market among the state’s growing Latino population, which the census bureau last year estimated at 115,000, or about 11 percent of the state’s population. By 2005, more than half of the roughly 5,700 mortgages made to Latinos in Rhode Island were subprime, compared with less than 20 percent in 2002, the Center’s data shows.

Lending practices once heralded as spawning the greatest expansion of homeownership in America are now being blamed for setting off the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Lawmakers in Washington Friday approved a $700-billion taxpayer bailout to shore up world financial markets. But it remains to be seen whether that will help residents on streets such as Bellevue Avenue.

TWO DOORS down from a boarded triple-decker, a small boy holding an Ironman action toy peers out the doorway of a porch trimmed with the icicle lights as his father collects the mail.

Two of the three mailboxes remain empty. The tenants have moved out, said the owner, Walter Fernandez.

Upstairs, the owner’s wife, Janice, cooks lunch in the kitchen as their 4-year-old son, Wally, stretches out on the living room floor with a coloring book. The walls are covered with colorful paintings by Dominican artists.

The couple, both immigrants from the Dominican Republic, bought the three-family house at 129-131 Bellevue Ave. three years ago. At the time, they both worked — he as a janitor, she as an administrative assistant for a property-management company — and lived in a $700-a-month rental in Providence.

They looked at more than 60 houses, Janice Fernandez said, before they chose this one. Built in 1922, the house has decorative moldings and original hardwood kitchen cabinets.

In November 2005, the three-family house was selling for $280,000.

“They put everything so easy,” said Walter Fernandez, who struggles with English.

“Why pay rent,” his wife, Janice, recalled the broker saying, “when you can buy your own house?”

Their loan application stated that their household income was $3,500 a month — even though Janice said it was actually closer to $2,000 a month. Their mortgage broker also listed on their loan application another $1,850 for rental income that they would receive from the two apartments which they had agreements to lease. That raised their annual income on the application from $42,000 to $64,200.

The broker, whom they knew and trusted, arranged for two mortgages — a $224,000 mortgage to cover 80 percent of the loan, and another $56,000 mortgage for the remaining 20 percent. Their payments on the “80/20” loan were $2,200 a month….

Not only would they have to rely on the rental income to pay their mortgage but also to pay for water, electricity, heat, food and other household expenses.

Janice Fernandez said she was worried about how they could afford such an expensive house, but the broker reassured her. If they rented the other two apartments for $700 and $750 each, they’d have to pay only the remaining $750 –– or roughly the same as they used to pay in rent….

Manelik “Manny” Vallejo drives a 1999 gold Ford Explorer van with a cracked windshield and letters on the rear window that read in English and Spanish: “If it causes you envy … work harder like me.”

Vellejo runs his own taxicab service. He and his wife and their five children, ages 8 to 18, used to rent an apartment in Providence for $1,000 a month. Back then, his wife was working in a factory and earning about $300 a week. Together, their household income was just under $34,000 a year.

In mid-April of 2006, he called a real estate agent whose name he’d seen on signs. They arranged to meet on Bellevue Avenue and she showed him two houses: a three-family at 96-98 listed for $310,000 and a two-family at 212-214 for $305,000.
“I like both,” he told her.

He wasn’t sure he could even get a mortgage; his wife had stopped working because of health problems. Their household income had dropped to about $18,000 before taxes. But he figured it was worth a try.

“She [the real estate agent] made me sign some paper,” Vallejo recalled, “and a week later she says, ‘you got both houses!’ I say, what I need both houses? I need one!”
Vallejo says he didn’t understand at the time that the papers he’d signed were purchase-and-sales agreements.

He couldn’t imagine how someone with his income could get $600,000 in loans. “How can it get approved?” he said

In June 2006, Vallejo received the same type of 80/20 mortgage as his neighbor Walter Fernandez. Vallejo’s loan documents show that the first mortgage on the house where he and his family live carries an interest rate of 9.3 percent. The second mortgage has an interest rate of 13.5 percent. At the time, the rate on traditional, 30-year fixed rate mortgages was between 6.6 percent and 6.86 percent.

Vallejo tried to keep up with his mortgage payments. He worked 10, 12 hours a day. He rented one upstairs apartment and posted a “For Rent” sign for the other. He found two families to move into the second house. But one family left after a month. Another stayed a year and then moved out owing money for gas.

To pay his bills, Vallejo borrowed money from friends and “on the street” from cash lenders. He fell behind on one mortgage, then the other.

He lost his rental property at 212-214 Bellevue to foreclosure last January.” Providence Journal


AddThis Social Bookmark Button