Fannie, Freddie and an Outbreak of Amnesia

Douglas Holtz-Eakin penned the above title in a WSJ article on 25 May, 2016. The gist; During the 2008 financial imbroglio these two “government sponsored entities” were put into conservatorship with the taxpayers contributing $188 Billion to bail them out. These two agencies buy mortgages and package them to sell as bonds.

The hope was they would be reconstituted and run better next time. Someone was smoking something in the cloak room to hope for that, they are giant honey holes for Congress to “reform society” and put their friends in place. Being government they get lower interest rates than banks and if they mess up WE get the bill.

Fanny and Freddie are the very embodiment of crony capitalism that the Bern, HRC and the Donald rant about.  They are a defacto state owned enterprise in the United States, kind of like China, or our friend Putins’ place.

Why is it that it has become a right to own a house? If we agree home ownership is a good thing is there a better way to put forward that policy without exposing the taxpayers to this kind of risk, maybe a more free market oriented solution? Maybe cities looking at how much cost they load on builders that increases the cost of housing by 20-30-40%. Maybe renting is a better idea than buying at certain times in your life.  Maybe being more vertical is a good idea, seems to work in New York.

Driving a social policy through by threatening banks with regulation and fine hell has been proven to be stupid.

Tired of Politicians Tearing Down

I am 69. I served in the military, I serve the community in various ways, I serve in my choice of religious institutions, I serve my family, I serve my customers, I serve, you.

I am so sick of national politicians who win elections by tearing down the U.S. “We are going to fundamentally change this country. The first time in my life I have been proud of my country. Those people are dummies, can’t negotiate well. Wall Street are a bunch of crooks. What difference does it make now, anyway.”  First prize to the first person who correctly identifies who said what. And the people that don’t tear down the country, or their opponent, are not elected to highest offices.

Joe Rosenberg wrote an editorial in the WSJ a while ago, talking about the collective economy he experienced first hand, Israel, or through friends, relatives or through people he met, Europe, Russia, China. All stole liberty from people, liberty to pursue happiness as they see fit.  Capitalism has raised billions of people out of poverty, not government controlled economics.

He says, “Bernie Sanders and I are poster children for what poor Jew from Brooklyn or Germany can accomplish… Please stop tearing down the country that has been so good to both of us” (and millions of others-my comment).

Benjamin Franklin famously said to a person outside of the hall where our constitution was just barely passed. “You have a republic, now let’s see if you can keep it.”  To keep we all have to serve one another, not take from one another. We have to love one another enough to compromise. Please.



A Hollywood Hit Job on Clarence Thomas

The above title is from an article by Stuart Taylor Jr. (author and non resident senior contributor to the Brookings Institute). He talks about the HBO offering “Confirmation” focused on the 25th anniversary of the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas for SCOTUS.

“Despite the a surface appearance of fairness, “Confirmation” makes clear how it wants the hearings to be remembered: Ms. Hill told the whole truth and Mr. Thomas was thus a desperate, if compelling liar. Her supporters were noble; his Republican backers were scheming character assassins.” Quoting the article.

I guess it is OK to make a movie purported to be factual when it is not, “The Butler” comes to mind, anything by Oliver Stone, Roger Moore, etc. Why is it that our media, which includes Hollywood, determines it is OK to put out stuff that is so biased as to be actual lies, or just selective in which facts it presents and feels OK to say, “based on a true story” as their license.

Dramatic license doesn’t give anyone the right to misrepresent the facts of a case.  If you are going to make a movie, or show, about a factual event please tell us your bias, as noted above, or make it a documentary and present both sides.

The article last year about a rape at U. Va. is an example. A young, needy woman created a story in order to attract the attention of a young man, and Rolling Stone then proceeded to blow her insecurities into a giant story.  The magazine is being sued, as well they should be as Columbia School of Journalism even agrees they were negligent.  The reporter, Ms. Erderly, is still writing for the magazine.

“Rolling Stone publisher Jann S. Wenner told The New York Times the article was flawed, but “represented an isolated and unusual episode.” Wenner told the Times that Erdely would continue as a freelance writer and that Managing Editor Will Dana, the article’s editor Sean Woods and the fact checker, who was not named because she had no decision-making ability on publication, would not be fired.
Breaking News at ”

The young woman “Jackie” was not prosecuted for slander, libel, etc. The fraternity has suffered mightily, The University has gone through massive turmoil. “Jackie” has walked away from the consequences, even Michael Smerconish recently spoke about her culpability.

Has our media learned anything?  Probably not. We need to be our own fact checkers!  Facebook just this last week has been accused of bias in reporting the news.  Everyone is aghast. Well don’t be, everyone is biased, some do a better job of trying to present both sides, most don’t.



The EEOC Whiffs-Again

The above title is from the editorial page of the WSJ for May 21-22, 2016. It talks about the EEOC losing a case at SCOTUS 8-0. Even with four progressive leaning judges, CRST Van Expedited v. EEOC. That comes on top of a 9-0 ruling in in 2012, Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC.

If you can’t get legislation by leading a divided Congress, just sue people.

CRST was also awarded legal fees, $4.7 million dollars, of our taxpayer money!

You would think that government attorneys would think first about whether a case has merit based on precedence before moving forward, or spend someone else’s money going to court.

Good for SCOTUS.

Changing an NFL Team’s Name Won’t Fix Indian Schools

The above title is from the May 21-22 WSJ by Naomi Schaefer Riley. There has been a lot of hoopla about the Redskins name, how insulting it is to native Americans. Well, according to a Washington Post poll, 90% of native Americans are not offended.  Much ado about nothing?

Concurrently the Education Secretary John King announced a $100,000 grant to the Crazy Horse School of the Oglala Sioux tribe. More money won’t help much as plenty of money has been sent to the schools, as Ms. Riley states in her article.

The schools score half as well as other schools in South Dakota. Nepotism, a lack of accountability, no alternatives like charter schools, unenforced truancy laws, social promotions, etc. Sound familiar, maybe not to the same extent, but familiar for sure. While adults posture over tenure, staff jobs, keeping low performing schools open, unenforced discipline the children who want to learn are sacrificed by the adults.

Some Teach for America teachers were let go because “they are too white. They think Western.” Adults fighting their battles over who teaches their kids reading, writing and arithmetic.

Education is at the core of many of our issues in our country, yet the current administration and the Bern says global warming is at the top of the list. No guts to tell the truth.

Leonardo gets award for environmental action, builds a “green” resort-bring money-lots of it.

At the world economic forum in 2016 DeCaprio got an award for his environmental work, good for him.  In 2018 his development called “Blackadore Key” in Belize will open.

The Key is billed as a “Restorative Island”, totally powered by renewable energy, increases the biological health  of species, sustainable practices, etc.  Great, for those .1% of people who can afford $5-10 million prices tags. The rest of us can eat cake.

Sustainable practices and reducing emissions should be part of our path going forward.  How about  balancing costs so that entire swaths of the economy are not eliminated without a plan to assist those affected. This sounds like Stalin and the Cossack’s to me.

The Great Recession Blame Game

The above title comes from the WSJ, an article by Phil Gramm and Michael Solon.  The recession of 08-10 was caused by the “government policy to promote housing ownership and regulators who chose to promote that policy over their traditional mission of guaranteeing safety and soundness.”

HRC has just announced that the potential first husband will be in charge of the economy, hmmmmm. It was he who threw gasoline on a smoldering fire through the regulators, his speeches, Fannie and Freddie, etc.  You can see how bubbles grow, we will be in for another one.

I wish someone in Hollywood would make a movie about that.

Bernie misleads about tax rates, no, really?

Lowell McAdams, CEO of Verizon responded to Senator Bernie Sanders naming Verizon as a “Non fair payer of taxes” in early April, 2016. In fact he states Verizon has paid $15.6 Billion in taxes in the last two years at a rate of 35.6%.

Senator Sanders also said Verizon doesn’t benefit America.  Mr. McAdams noted Verizon had invested $35.6 Billion in the U.S. and paid $16 Billion in dividends.

Exactly how much more is required to be on the Bern’s good list, all of it? An old fart ranting and raving, what have we come to?

Our tax rates for corporations are the highest in the world, our tax structure invites companies and individuals to find ways to reduce tax bills (Like buying solar panels, hybrids and thousands more ways), and higher taxes are proven to reduce actual revenue-see France over the last few years.

Reduce tax complexity, reduce regulations, invite business to repatriate cash, etc., this will goose our growth, thus creating jobs, increasing tax revenue, reducing our social spending, etc.

The Anti-Israel Poisoning Starts Young

The title above is from the WSJ of May 18, 2016 by Micah Lakin Avni.  A heartbreaking story of a “kind, dedicated teacher”, his father Richard Larkin, who emigrated to Israel from the U.S. and taught English to Arabs and Jews. He was 76 when two men boarded the bus he was on and started killing all they could. He passed later while in the hospital.

Mr. Avni offered to share his fathers’ life and purpose at the elementary school where the father of one of the assailants had just spoken, praising his sons’ killing of Jews. His offer was refused. So those children were not given the opportunity to listen to a story of love and service, instead the story of hate and violence.

Richard Larkin told his son, “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”

Revenge, hate, et al, produce nothing. Loving produces good. May Mr. Larkin rest in peace and Mr. Avni continue to love as the Abrahamic tradition teaches us all.