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New York's 26th Congressional District: Shot Heard From Coast to Coast! Options
HWNN1961
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:20:26 PM
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Kathy Hochul is a rarity in government. She is efficient, focused, and smart. She has been an exemplar of why kids should see Public Service as an honorable profession.

That said, she had little chance of winning in the 26th New York. This district is a poster-child for gerrymandering. It begins East of Buffalo, and continues right up to and South of Rochester NY. It is rural, conservative, the reddest of the red districts in Upstate NY.

But, a funny thing happened on the way to a Jane Corwin landslide. She foolishly sipped the koolaide. She accepted the Republican litmus test for the Ryan budget that turns Medicare into a coupon program for anyone under 55 years old. She foolishly signed on to a program that would return us to the "good old days" of the 1960s and before...you know....when senior citizens could not get health care. Everyone grows old and dies. The insurers will treat old people like toxic assets. They will not insure them at any price. The woebegone elderly can take their government coupon and use it to buy morphine, and plan whether they will be cremated or buried.

Republians had a handy answer: Jack Davis was the spoiler. Well? Wrong again, Buffalo Bob! He only took 8% of the vote, and his anti-free trade campaign stole votes from both parties, and mostly from independents.

Kathy Hochul is an able public servant. She deserved to win on her merits.

But, she DID win on Medicare.

This is the first shot in the rebound. The teaparty idiocy is at its end. Payback is a b@t@h!
kitten
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 11:13:08 PM
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HWNN,


Just getting ready to post this as well. Thank you. And YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also heard some other good news tonight. Rush and Hannity numbers have slipped down as well.


peace out, >^,,^<
boneyfriend
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 4:52:20 AM

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Those are both good news. Now if only some of those changes could slip down my way. I just don't see it happening here.
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 5:05:12 AM
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I don't see how making Medicare private is going to work. Insurance companies have no incentive to cure the sick.

But there do need to be some adjustments. Medicare and Medicaid were designed when the life expectancy was much less and somewhere there has to be a change - raising the age limit or something.
HWNN1961
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 9:17:57 AM
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Good points Joe.

What Ryan and his ilk have apparently forgotten is that Medicare was invented to solve a market failure: no insurance company wants to be on the hook for the soaring health care costs that most people accrue in the last couple years of their life. Prior to the progam, old people simply had no recourse. Unless you were independently wealthy, you could not get health care.

The government vouchere won't come close to paying for the insurance costs of healthy old people...how much less so for people nearing their end-of-life illness? They simply won't get insurance. That's my future if these clowns ever get their way.

That changes need to be made is obvious. But change the progam, don't kill it. Also, tax increases need to be part of the solution. The well to do have had a 30 year holiday in this nation, and the party most definately has to end. Trickle down is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a sham. What the wealthy do with their tax cuts is foment bubbles in commodities, stocks, and real estate, and when the bubble bursts, the money is gone, and the nation is in debt to pay for the tax cuts.
guitar53
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 12:09:41 PM

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jmacann
Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2011 8:16:52 AM
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Congrats -honest.
Jai Majala
Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2011 1:08:23 PM
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Pathetic.
HWNN1961
Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2011 10:26:10 PM
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Agreed:

Anyone choosing to protect tax loopholes, the tax cuts for the rich, over safeguarding the healthcare of senior citizens would qualify as pathetic: also, heartless, greedy, mean spirited, short sighted.

Since I'm sure you agree with the thrust of this post dear Jai, such criticism doesn't apply to you.
kitten
Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2011 10:30:50 PM
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Jai Majala wrote:
Pathetic.


Could you possibly elaborate as to what you mean by "pathetic"?

I read the "pathetic" as in agreement with the above win. And that you are not in favour of the Medicare coupons for the eldery aka as the way some of the Republicans take care of those they don't care about.


peace out, >^,,^<
Jai Majala
Posted: Sunday, July 3, 2011 11:12:05 AM
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kitten wrote:

Could you possibly elaborate as to what you mean by "pathetic"?


No.
Truthseeker
Posted: Sunday, July 3, 2011 7:34:48 PM
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HWNN1961 wrote:
Agreed:

Anyone choosing to protect tax loopholes, the tax cuts for the rich, over safeguarding the healthcare of senior citizens would qualify as pathetic: also, heartless, greedy, mean spirited, short sighted.



Many would argue that anyone who isn’t in favor of tax cuts for everyone in order to stimulate growth, and who apposes the complete overall of social security, Medicare and Medicaid in order to avoid becoming another ‘Greece’ is either naive, is too young to know better, or is a member of that class of parasites who takes from government, and therefore from the American people.

You write as if you're a union man. If you're not, you ought to be.
HWNN1961
Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 1:03:26 AM
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Many would argue that anyone who isn’t in favor of tax cuts for everyone in order to stimulate growth,

I'm certainly old enough to remember Carter being lambasted for running a "ruinous" deficit of 30 billion in 1979. Regan said his tax cuts would stimulate the economy so much that they would "pay for themselves". They didn't. He ran 200 billion yearly debts, and paniced his own people into "revenue enhancements".

Bush tried the same voodoo in 2001. The current horrible debt began at that point. For the price of the "jobless recovery" we went trillions into debt.

You've clearly consumed the koolaide if you really want to try this crap again!



and who apposes the complete overall of social security, Medicare and Medicaid in order to avoid becoming another ‘Greece’ is either naive, is too young to know better, or is a member of that class of parasites who takes from government, and therefore from the American people.


You forget that the "American people" you are so fond of overwhelming reject the "overhall" of Social security and Medicare as proposed by Bush in 2006, and Ryan this past spring. The people have paid into these programs to aid others with the proviso that these programs would be there for them as well. That is a sacred trust. It's the very fabric of society. I'm confident that people will accept cuts to these programs, changes in the eligibility age, but, proposing to continue and even add to tax cuts for the wealthy as you cut programs didn't and won't pass the smell test. You want the poor and the middle class to sacrifice, while giving the rich another tax break? Many of the wealthy want their taxes hiked, including Warren Buffet. Why? Because he understands what being part of a society means.
You write as if you're a union man. If you're not, you ought to be.


Never been in a union, but, darn grateful for their contributions to the nation. We take an awful lot of our quality of life for granted today that was fought for by union men and women. How on earth did that ever become anything but a badge of honor?
Truthseeker
Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 1:45:22 PM
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[quote=HWNN1961]
You've clearly consumed the koolaide if you really want to try this crap again![/b]

And you've become totally intoxicated on the 'hope and change' mantra that's taken this country so far in debt that many think we'll NEVER get out.
As I've said before:
A redistribution of wealth on the scale Obama wants has never worked.
Look at Cuba. Look at Cuba. Look at Cuba........................

Capitalism is the only solution.
Work hard, prepare for the future and work even harder to reduce the power of Washington.

The Federal Government was created at the pleasure of the States. Not the other way around.
Truthseeker
Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 3:10:35 PM
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HWNN1961 wrote:
We take an awful lot of our quality of life for granted today that was fought for by union men and women. How on earth did that ever become anything but a badge of honor?[/b]


So......... because they did good things earlier in their existence, then nothing they do later can be held against them?
Interesting.

With that logic, John Wayne Gacy, who was a model citizen in the 60's, receiving several awards for his good citizenship, should have all his works recognized as a badge of honor. I doubt if the relatives of his victims would see it that way. Just as the 'victims' of the union's rape and pillage of our economy do not see their self promoting efforts at the public's expense as a 'badge of honor'.

HWNN1961
Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 7:28:13 PM
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HWNN1961 wrote:
We take an awful lot of our quality of life for granted today that was fought for by union men and women. How on earth did that ever become anything but a badge of honor?[/b]


So......... because they did good things earlier in their existence, then nothing they do later can be held against them?
Interesting.

With that logic, John Wayne Gacy, who was a model citizen in the 60's, receiving several awards for his good citizenship, should have all his works recognized as a badge of honor. I doubt if the relatives of his victims would see it that way. Just as the 'victims' of the union's rape and pillage of our economy do not see their self promoting efforts at the public's expense as a 'badge of honor'.



I do find your use of hyperbole both engaging and amusing, and more than a little silly!


Today’s unions are the organizational equivalent of a mass murderer like John Gacy?

Today’s unions rape and pillage our economy?



The last time I saw, the millennium hasn’t come, and we don’t live in Utopia. Large economic entities: governments and multinational corporations, with no countervailing force to protect workers, will steamroll workers.

It is human nature to have unlimited wants and desires. Corporations exist to maximize profit. The most positive way to do so is with superior products and long term strategies, but, in the absence of:

a. Unionized workers organized to protect their own interests. The efforts of unions also protect non-unionized workers because corporations are eager to avoid a union effort, give ground on benefits, salary, and working conditions, and union influence on government labor policy improves the lot of all working people.

b. Government influenced by it’s desire to avoid economic disruptions from strikes and worker demonstrations passing and maintaining safe working standards, child labor laws, rules about the length of the work day, overtime, workman’s compensation, and on.


They would surely, in the absence of powerful unions, act to gain profit by squeezing workers.

Does anyone doubt that absent unions, corporations would rapidly take back benefits and erode wages?

If unions were suddenly disappeared, can anyone doubt that in that vacuum, corporations, with a monopoly of influence on government, would roll back worker’s rights the first chance they get? Heck, they contribute and encourage politicians to run against regulation as it is. That they don’t always get their way is a testament to the good that unions are still doing today.

On a previous thread, I mentioned the recent fiasco of the 20 minute gap at Reagan Int’l airport where pilots could not get a response from the Air Traffic Controllers…or should I say, controller…as in singular. It seems that there was only one chronically over-worked controller on duty at the time, and he nodded off.

There is zero chance that these people would be so under-staffed and overworked had their union not been busted! That it happened at Reagan Airport is delicious irony to me.

Sorry, but unions are still vital and necessary.

If you seek for the despoilers of our economy, look no further than those wealthy CEOs that take tax breaks and ship jobs overseas. Look to those other acolytes of unregulated unfettered capitalism: the wall street traders (traitors?) and the bankers that treat our captial markets like a casino. Unions are small change compared to these Cads!
Truthseeker
Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 7:38:23 PM
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HWNN1961 wrote:

Sorry, but unions are still vital and necessary.

They sap economic growth, force higher prices on goods, and force businesses to close or move.

If you seek for the despoilers of our economy, look no further than those wealthy CEOs that take tax breaks and ship jobs overseas. Look to those other acolytes of unregulated unfettered capitalism: the wall street traders (traitors?) and the bankers that treat our captial markets like a casino. Unions are small change compared to these Cads! [/color]


If you owned a business and had a choice of either a 35 percent corporate tax rate or 12.5 percent, which would you choose? It's nothing personal. Just business. I was never in favor of the bailouts. We should have let them sink or swim. Of course, the banking crisis, which was brought about largely by poor management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, began decades ago when government forced banks to make home loans to those who could never pay them back.

Capitalism will work for everyone if government will get the h@@l out of the way.

RuthP
Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 11:09:34 AM

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Banks decided to make the high-risk loans. Banks could have eschewed these loans and gone solely with private good risks, but instead looked for the high-return (and thus high-risk: it goes together) and, in many cases knowingly helped people lie on their applications.

This does not absolve any poor government regulation which may have existed; it does not absolve the individuals who lied; it certainly does not absolve the banks who pushed these loans on people who did not understand the financing. Those banks are culpable.

One cannot inveigh against regulation and then turn around and say it was the government's fault for not regulating properly.

(Most) business owners would prefer a 12.5% tax rate: that has nothing to do with whether or not it is the correct decision and everything to do with why business does not and should not run the country.

As evidenced by history, there is also a tendency for businesses to prefer 60 hour work-weeks and child labor, but we do not allow them to make those decisions, either.

Many currently prefer wages which are below living-wage standards (while still granting high executive salaries plus bonuses and other perks, increasing compensation further).

There is nothing wrong with businesses profiting and there is nothing wrong with high compensation for executives.

There is something wrong with large profits and extremely high executive compensation in conjunction with a work-force which does not earn a living wage; in conjunction with an HR department with programs to help workers on to public assistance and locate food banks - because the business does not pay them a living wage; in conjunction with "supplying insurance" when the employee share of the cost is more than the employees can pay out of their earnings; in conjunction with filling a significant percentage of long-term positions with 'temporary' employees' - ineligible for retirement or insurance or standard wages and re-hired as 'temps' time after time after time, but never hired permanently.

Corporations and their highly-paid executives and their well-paid attorneys wield a lot of power. The average employee, not so much and is pretty easy for the corporation to ignore. The work-force as a whole, there is a force more to be considered and that is the reason for unions: to help level and balance the power; to recognize the importance of all.

Problems sapping the country: a population which cannot afford health care; a population which cannot afford higher education; a population not earning enough to save for retirement.

Business (even multinationals) are not evil; unions are not evil. Both are. Each looks out for its own interests.

Corporations have been very successful in looking out for their interests: Effective corporate tax rates are at least 1/3 less than listed rates (and that does not count taxes avoided completely by shifting profits illegally off-shore). Minimum wage and average wage have not kept up with inflation, while profits and executive compensation (they don't earn wages, which are - by definition - hourly) have far out-paced inflation. While wages have not paced inflation, workers continue to increase per-worker productivity. If business cannot make it in this climate, then business needs a new model.

Society and the country benefit from outside regulation of each (horrors: the government), that their separate interests may not run roughshod over the people of the country.
Truthseeker
Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 5:35:44 PM
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Spoken like a true liberal, Ruth. Keep up the good work. I'm sure it will pay off in 2012.
Truthseeker
Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 8:25:47 PM
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RuthP wrote:
Banks decided to make the high-risk loans. Banks could have eschewed these loans and gone solely with private good risks, but instead looked for the high-return (and thus high-risk: it goes together) and, in many cases knowingly helped people lie on their applications.




Banks forced by government to make unsecured loans
HWNN1961
Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 10:31:04 PM
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I'll leave a final comment on this perpetual motion machine that began as a thread on the meaning of the special Congressional election in the NY 26th District:

Come full circle:

1. The results were unambiguous: Kathy Hochul won in a staunchly republican district for one main reason: a referendum on, and the rejection of, the Ryan Medicare bill.

2. In an effort to give their members political cover, the previously routine vote to raise the debt cieling has been turned into an entirely manufactured crisis. Congress approved a budget for this year, so pay for it. Fight over priorities for the next budget cycle.

They won't: they want to force democrats to cut medicare, to muddy the waters, and be able to avoid the backlash that is surely coming by being able to say "see, they did it too". Democrats need to call their bluff.

We'll see if they ever got that spinal cord transplant they were on the waiting list for, or if they will cave yet again...
Truthseeker
Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011 7:58:12 AM
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[quote=HWNN1961]I'll leave a final comment on this perpetual motion machine that began as a thread on the meaning of the special Congressional election in the NY 26th District:

Come full circle:

1. The results were unambiguous: Kathy Hochul won in a staunchly republican district for one main reason: a referendum on, and the rejection of, the Ryan Medicare bill.

Well.......... you're PARTLY right. The results were unambiguous. The Conservative side received more than half the votes in that election. They just happened to split them between two candidates. This is, in itself, amazing, because this election was in one of the most liberal areas of the country, yet was held up as a landmark vote for the entire nation. Democrats are indeed very desperate if they try to claim this election as noteworthy for their cause.

If this vote had been in south Alabama and the Republicans had held it up as a watershed moment, you would have laughed.

Just as I am laughing now.
HWNN1961
Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011 9:14:06 AM
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The election was held in a conservative district. It has elected republicans for decades. That NYS overall is a moderate state has no impact on individual districts. Unless you believe that ACORN bussed people in from neighboring districts, then you are left with the obvious:

A historically republican district went for the democrat. Exit polling and polls leading up to the election showed that the main concern was Ryan's budget.

The old line about denial being more than a river in Egypt rings true.

And I continue to chuckle in your general direction!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011 9:32:37 AM

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Carry on, guys! This is great fun.
I didn't know it is nowadays possible to resurrect those few they laid in deep freeze in the 50's,
even with the capability to produce almost reasonable arguments.
Whistle
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011 1:40:36 PM

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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Truthseeker wrote:
RuthP wrote:
Banks decided to make the high-risk loans. Banks could have eschewed these loans and gone solely with private good risks, but instead looked for the high-return (and thus high-risk: it goes together) and, in many cases knowingly helped people lie on their applications.




Banks forced by government to make unsecured loans

Puh-leeze

Banks were "pressured" because they wanted to participate in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. Yes, the regulators should have examined the loans purchased by FM & FM more carefully NTY 10/2008: Greenspan admits errors in regulation. The banks, however, cry on the one hand about regulation, yet fail to regulate themselves.

It would have been perfectly legal for a bank to simply refuse to participate in FM & FM if it felt the standards were too risky. More practically, the banks could simply have screened the participants: it is not the people who qualified who presented the majority of the problem, but the ones who did not, but were "passed" anyway. (Yes, some who qualified failed: that happens with conventional loans, too.) Failures were exacerbated when people started losing their jobs and falling property values started to decline ever more quickly.

For a look at how the system works, see Wikipedia: Subprime crisis impact timeline

In addition to loaning money as proposed by FM & FM, banks began to loan money to more and more high-risk borrowers (in part to make up for a shrinking general mortgage market). Wall Street decided bundled mortgages would be a good way to turn a quick buck; as Wall Street bought mortgages, those monies paid the banks were funneled back into further high-risk mortgages, secured by properties with inflated values.
Greenspan on the topic, 2010; PDF: Subprime-lender Richard Bitner testimony on the topic

Certainly some borrowers knowingly misled banks, certainly banks also knowingly looked the other way and, in some cases, actively encouraged . . . creative . . . income statements.
Agence France Presse; Columbus Dispatch; Blog at Loan Safe; Blog at Loan Auditors.

Here are the references for another Wikipedia article, Wikipedia: Subprime mortgage crisis. One can either scroll up and read the Wikipedia article or one can click on the references and go to the original sources.

Here are several articles from the "Financial Times" from 2009: FT: Few escape blame over subprime lending; FT: Goldman agrees to deal; FT: Pressure mounts on B of A and Citi; FT: Subprime lobbyists in battle

This kind of problem will not go away. Figuring out how to avoid what happened between 2005 and 2008 will not solve the next problem (whatever it turns out to be). The previous housing bust, in the early 1980s also involved creative financing, but it was different from the current one; so will the next one be different from this. Banks are in the business of earning money and will be creative in trying to maximize profits, focused primarily on the next quarter's bottom line. The Motley Fool 7 June 2011: More evidence the banks may be starting another race to the bottom.

Industry and the government have spent a lot of time and effort looking at what happened. It is extraordinarily complex; there are disagreements as to the exact conclusions, but this is an actual examination of what happened.
Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC): Get the Report: The report includes the dissenting conclusions.
FCIC: Hearings and testimony: Links to the actual hearings and testimony.
FCIC: Resources: Searchable database for the Commission's work. This page also includes lists of links in various categories, in case one does not know what to search for.
And finally, thank you to Stanford Law School for hosting this information: About the FCIC at Stanford Law
Truthseeker
Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011 3:11:31 PM
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RuthP wrote:
Truthseeker wrote:
[quote=RuthP]Banks decided to make the high-risk loans. Banks could have eschewed these loans and gone solely with private good risks, but instead looked for the high-return (and thus high-risk: it goes together) and, in many cases knowingly helped people lie on their applications.




Banks forced by government to make unsecured loans

Puh-leeze

Banks were "pressured" because they wanted to participate in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. Yes, the regulators should have examined the loans purchased by FM & FM more carefully NTY 10/2008: Greenspan admits errors in regulation. The banks, however, cry on the one hand about regulation, yet fail to regulate themselves.

I just present the data. You can dismiss it if you wish. And that's EXACTLY what I assumed you'd do because it doesn't fit your agenda.

Cheers
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011 8:02:35 PM

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The one datum presented was
Quote:
A man named Bruce Marks became quite notorious during the last decade for pressuring banks to earmark literally billions of dollars to his organization, the "Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America." He once boasted to the New York Times that he had "won" loan commitments totaling $3.8 billion from Bank of America, First Union Corporation, and the Fleet Financial Group. And that is just one "community group" operating in one city — Boston.


No link to the NYT article; no figures on the any penalties actually assessed, no list of branches actually blocked, or even threatened. No comparison of subprime government-backed loans versus loan "bundles" initiated for Wall Street.

"Acorn" is thrown out as a hot-button; consider this: City Limits News, 2008: Acorn led the financial sector in subprime warnings on lending

These are billion dollar financial institutions, with both the financial expertise and the access/power to influence regulation and call for reconsideration: they did no such thing.
Truthseeker
Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011 9:54:56 PM
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Joined: 6/10/2010
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Neurons: 820
RuthP wrote:
The one datum presented was
Quote:
A man named Bruce Marks became quite notorious during the last decade for pressuring banks to earmark literally billions of dollars to his organization, the "Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America." He once boasted to the New York Times that he had "won" loan commitments totaling $3.8 billion from Bank of America, First Union Corporation, and the Fleet Financial Group. And that is just one "community group" operating in one city — Boston.


No link to the NYT article; no figures on the any penalties actually assessed, no list of branches actually blocked, or even threatened. No comparison of subprime government-backed loans versus loan "bundles" initiated for Wall Street.

"Acorn" is thrown out as a hot-button; consider this: City Limits News, 2008: Acorn led the financial sector in subprime warnings on lending

These are billion dollar financial institutions, with both the financial expertise and the access/power to influence regulation and call for reconsideration: they did no such thing.


I do love this exchange. I hope you continue your denial of what is happening in this country. The best thing for the U.S. is for Obama and the other socialists to continue to deny that the last election was anything more than a 'blip' on the landscape. PLEASE continue to campaign on 'class envy', bigger government, greater debt, and more redistribution of wealth. MAYBE THEN our country will have a chance to survive.
Thanks, Ruth, for maintaining my faith in the continuation of the liberal mystique.
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