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Of Politics, Sports and Sex

OK, so there won't be a LOT on here about sex, but tell the truth, that's most of the reason you entered this site, right? So, I'll slip some things in from time to time just to keep you coming...back.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

On the other hand, if you want an opinion on beer or chocolate, I'm your guy!

Topics that get my fellow progressives all fired up that you’ll virtually never hear me give an opinion on:

-         Keystone XL
 -         Vaccinations
 -         Net Neutrality
 -         Climate Change
 -         Abortions
 -         Fracking

Some of them are such personal issues and the others require expertise I don’t have. I either prefer to keep my thoughts to myself or at least, not pretend I know things that others have or haven’t figured out...even if I'm not sure they are as sure they've figured it out as they are. 
And you're not the only one. Even I had to read that sentence twice to make sure I understood it.


  1. SOME REAL FACTS AND REAL NUMBERS...dare you to use these stats in your next letter to the editor. Anthony J Oleck

    Record 12,202,000 Blacks Not In Labor Force...
    Record 56,131,000 Women...
    January, February jobs numbers revised down dramatically...
    Fed Cuts Growth Forecast to ZERO...

  2. So classic. Ignore all the good news for the past 6 years, keeping hoping and praying that all your predictions of a republican-like economic collapse will come true, and only focus on when there is what passes as bad news. When the Republican left office, we were losing 750,000 jobs a MONTH. Now when there are "only" 126,000 jobs created, Obama is a total failure. This is what passes for deep thought by a right wing hater. Interesting that my last letter complimented a Republican Congressman (Costello) and talked about other things, but when I said good things about the amazing accomplishments that have taken place since Obama took office, out come the usual lies, predictions that will never come true, and distortions, all to keep your meme of doom and negativity alive.

  3. Funny the things that happen once the Republicans take back control of the Senate.

    And another of the pesky facts about last month: • African American unemployment rate fell to 10.1 percent, down from 10.4 percent in February.

  4. Sadly, Mr. Oleck, because of the repeated personal attacks, I had to delete your last few comments. I have a feeling those comments did not reflect your best self. But if you want to re-post them without needing to rely on those sorts of attacks, as you were able to do above, and without putting words in my mouth, I'd be happy to leave them up...though this time, I suggest you include some measure of rational reflection of the incredible economic accomplishments of this Presidency vs. the one that got us into this mess and that caused the debt to accelerate and then, instead of just dwelling in the negative, make some productive suggestions on what should have happened.

  5. me a favor...go to You Tube and search the congressional hearings on Fannie Mae and Freddy living color you will see republicans warning democrats that their favorite money lenders were a house of cards and needed oversite...then you will see and hear tons of democrats making a mockery of their warnings and saying that the two entities were sound and were no threat to the taxpayer....the failure of those two entities Jamie were the cause of the economic meltdown.....your refusal to see the facts, refuse to explore the facts and stick to your "Bush did it" narrative is disingenuous Jamie

  6. Jamie this is a brief does not give you the actual congressional hearing comments...I will find those because they are devastating to your side...the democrats ridiculed the independent auditor who testified about the threat of a financial collapse of the their favorite mortgage lenders with strong democrat ties....I'll ask you as an honest man to view this summary and I will find the actual hearings...I'll assume you knew nothing about this and really believed it was Bushs fault....but after you review the facts here...I would expect an apology Jamie because you are as wrong as wrong can be about the cause of the financial collapse.....


  8. OK we are going to see just how open minded you is the link to the congressional hearings themselves...the Republicans warning of a potential failure and the democrats making fun of them.....after you watch this you may better understand why I become infuriated with liberals who ignore these facts and make up their own the way the fella at the end of the segment who agrees with me is BILL CLINTON....

  9. lastly Jamie...the master himself...Barney Frank...after being warned about a housing bubble by the republicans gave a speech to calm everyone's nerves...nothing to see here housing bubble here, just those silly republicans making a fuss about nothing .....then POP THE BUBBLE BURSTS....

  10. Hard to believe there are still people trying to push the myths that it was anyone but Wall Street, with the support of both parties that caused the housing problems. I can find as many links to Bush's people and the John McCains of the world supporting Freddie and Fannie as anyone can the D's doing the same, as I'll show below, but where was the leadership from the R President fighting those standards? Busy running up trillions in deficit spending on tax cuts for the wealthy and unnecessary wars.

  11. It's easy to win an argument with a conservative regarding whether the democrats were responsible for killing the 2005 regulatory reform effort, which "would have prevented the housing crisis". There has been a rewriting of history with respect to the "republicans saw it coming" meme. There is a pervasive "blame the democrats" meme working its way into common thinking claiming that it was democrats who killed an attempt by congressional republicans to fix a badly broken regulatory system over fannie and freddy. What follows is an easy debunking of the favorite right-wing talking points:

  12. Myth 1) Democrats had the dream of home ownership for everyone, and republicans were more pragmatic:
    Not according to Bush's Secretary John Snow testimony:
    "Our national system of housing finance plays an important role in promoting home ownership – a key priority of this Administration. We have seen tremendous progress in increasing home ownership in America, which now stands at 69 percent. Secretary Jackson and I share the commitment made by the President to expand home ownership to 5.5 million more minority homeowners by the end of the decade."
    "That figure, however, points to a significant homeownership gap between non-Hispanic whites and minorities. In June 2002, the President challenged the nation to create 5.5 million new minority homeowners by 2010. Since the President (Bush)'s challenge, 2.2 million minority families have joined the ranks of homeowners, and we are on track to meet the 5.5 million goal."
    And Bush's HUD secretary goes into even more detail:
    "These government sponsored enterprises can and must further use their power in the marketplace to ensure that more low-income and minority families get on the path to homeownership."
    And: "By statute, HUD sets the annual affordable housing goals that require a percentage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's lending go to underserved borrowers and communities. The proposal is currently under a 15-day congressional review after which there will be a 60-day public comment period."
    Looks like the Bush white house grabbed the flavor-aid and chugged it.

  13. Myth 2) It was Barney Frank, a democrat, who was the key element of pushing a policy forcing fannie and freddie to buy up mortgages from subprime lenders and ruined the twin's legitimacy:

    Well, Bush's HUD secretary doesn't agree:

    “Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) were chartered to help low- and moderate-income families secure mortgages. HUD recently published a rule that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase their purchases of mortgages for low- and moderate-income households and underserved communities. These new goals will push the GSEs to genuinely lead the market in creating homeownership opportunities for those traditionally underserved by the mortgage markets, particularly first-time homebuyers.”

    Nor does Bush's treasury secretary concur:

    “Another key power for the new regulator is the ability to review the
    activities of a regulated entity, whether they be new activities or those in which the regulated entity already participates. We need to strengthen the activity review process, including greater public participation through notice and comment rulemaking. Meaningful reform will also give greater clarity to the types of activities that fall within the GSEs' mission, thus ensuring that new and existing activities focus the GSEs on promoting housing opportunities . These tools should be a meaningful part of the oversight of the housing GSEs.”

    Read that carefully. The treasury secretary is asserting that the regulator needs the power to force the GSE's to stay more in line with their mission. As we'll see, combined with HUD's new regulations, forcing GSE's to purge their portfolios and focus exclusively on home loans, combined with the regulations causing them to issue subprime paper, was that they were pushing the very same risky business that brought down the housing market!

    And take a look at the de-facto controller for Fanne and Freddie, which required Fannie and Freddie to issue subprimes:

    "The FHA Payment Incentives Program, a new sub-prime loan product to
    offer FHA insurance to families with credit problems who would otherwise be charged higher rates in the private sector or not get a loan at all."

    Myth 3) Democrats under Clinton exacerbated the problem by pushing the
    federal home loan banks to buy up subprime (predatory) loans.

    Well actually no... the Clinton era HUD secretary campaigned aggressively against that:

    Myth 4) Democrats held Bush hostage on home loans, and he couldn't do
    anything about it.

    Bull. The HUD secretary is directly answerable to the president. A single executive order (which strong Presidents use quite effectively) directing HUD to use its authority over the federal home loan banks would have been all that was necessary to stop the anti-predatory lending activity. Bush chose not to.

    So I challenge my republican friends to put their money where their mouth is: I bet most of them won't know that it was BUSH's HUD secretary Jackson who proudly announced that he was having Fannie Mae issue subprime loans.

  14. So there ya go. It's just too easy.
    But isn't it interesting that where I challenged our commenter above as to what he would have done to ameliorate the disaster Bush brought on this country, all he can do is continue to wallow in negativity. Last year, I challenged my right-wing friends to tell me something/anything Bush had done of which he or any American could be proud and I still haven't heard a peep. Maybe because it would involve thinking a positive thought instead of just tearing people down.