T Nation

What's McCain's Problem?

Why is he unable to turn this financial crisis to his advantage?

OBAMA’S DANGEROUS PALS

By STANLEY KURTZ

September 29, 2008 –

[i]WHAT exactly does a “community organizer” do? Barack Obama’s rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here’s a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.

In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes - and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.

In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.

THE seeds of today’s financial meltdown lie in the Commu nity Reinvestment Act - a law passed in 1977 and made riskier by unwise amendments and regulatory rulings in later decades.

CRA was meant to encourage banks to make loans to high-risk borrowers, often minorities living in unstable neighborhoods. That has provided an opening to radical groups like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to abuse the law by forcing banks to make hundreds of millions of dollars in “subprime” loans to often uncreditworthy poor and minority customers.

Any bank that wants to expand or merge with another has to show it has complied with CRA - and approval can be held up by complaints filed by groups like ACORN.

In fact, intimidation tactics, public charges of racism and threats to use CRA to block business expansion have enabled ACORN to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions from America’s financial institutions.

Banks already overexposed by these shaky loans were pushed still further in the wrong direction when government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying up their bad loans and offering them for sale on world markets.

Fannie and Freddie acted in response to Clinton administration pressure to boost homeownership rates among minorities and the poor. However compassionate the motive, the result of this systematic disregard for normal credit standards has been financial disaster.

ONE key pioneer of ACORN’s subprime-loan shakedown racket was Madeline Talbott - an activist with extensive ties to Barack Obama. She was also in on the ground floor of the disastrous turn in Fannie Mae’s mortgage policies.

Long the director of Chicago ACORN, Talbott is a specialist in “direct action” - organizers’ term for their militant tactics of intimidation and disruption. Perhaps her most famous stunt was leading a group of ACORN protesters breaking into a meeting of the Chicago City Council to push for a “living wage” law, shouting in defiance as she was arrested for mob action and disorderly conduct. But her real legacy may be her drive to push banks into making risky mortgage loans.

In February 1990, Illinois regulators held what was believed to be the first-ever state hearing to consider blocking a thrift merger for lack of compliance with CRA. The challenge was filed by ACORN, led by Talbott. Officials of Bell Federal Savings and Loan Association, her target, complained that ACORN pressure was undermining its ability to meet strict financial requirements it was obligated to uphold and protested being boxed into an “affirmative-action lending policy.” The following years saw Talbott featured in dozens of news stories about pressuring banks into higher-risk minority loans.

IN April 1992, Talbott filed an other precedent-setting com plaint using the “community support requirements” of the 1989 savings-and-loan bailout, this time against Avondale Federal Bank for Savings. Within a month, Chicago ACORN had organized its first “bank fair” at Malcolm X College and found 16 Chicago-area financial institutions willing to participate.

Two months later, aided by ACORN organizer Sandra Maxwell, Talbott announced plans to conduct demonstrations in the lobbies of area banks that refused to attend an ACORN-sponsored national bank “summit” in New York. She insisted that banks show a commitment to minority lending by lowering their standards on downpayments and underwriting - for example, by overlooking bad credit histories.

By September 1992, The Chicago Tribune was describing Talbott’s program as “affirma- tive-action lending” and ACORN was issuing fact sheets bragging about relaxations of credit standards that it had won on behalf of minorities.

And Talbott continued her effort to, as she put it, drag banks “kicking and screaming” into high-risk loans. A September 1993 story in The Chicago Sun-Times presents her as the leader of an initiative in which five area financial institutions (including two of her former targets, now plainly cowed - Bell Federal Savings and Avondale Federal Savings) were “participating in a $55 million national pilot program with affordable-housing group ACORN to make mortgages for low- and moderate-income people with troubled credit histories.”

What made this program different from others, the paper added, was the participation of Fannie Mae - which had agreed to buy up the loans. “If this pilot program works,” crowed Talbott, “it will send a message to the lending community that it’s OK to make these kind of loans.”

Well, the pilot program “worked,” and Fannie Mae’s message that risky loans to minorities were “OK” was sent. The rest is financial-meltdown history.

IT would be tough to find an “on the ground” community organizer more closely tied to the subprime-mortgage fiasco than Madeline Talbott. And no one has been more supportive of Madeline Talbott than Barack Obama.

When Obama was just a budding community organizer in Chicago, Talbott was so impressed that she asked him to train her personal staff.

He returned to Chicago in the early '90s, just as Talbott was starting her pressure campaign on local banks. Chicago ACORN sought out Obama’s legal services for a “motor voter” case and partnered with him on his 1992 “Project VOTE” registration drive.

In those years, he also conducted leadership-training seminars for ACORN’s up-and-coming organizers. That is, Obama was training the army of ACORN organizers who participated in Madeline Talbott’s drive against Chicago’s banks.

More than that, Obama was funding them. As he rose to a leadership role at Chicago’s Woods Fund, he became the most powerful voice on the foundation’s board for supporting ACORN and other community organizers. In 1995, the Woods Fund substantially expanded its funding of community organizers - and Obama chaired the committee that urged and managed the shift.

That committee’s report on strategies for funding groups like ACORN features all the key names in Obama’s organizer network. The report quotes Talbott more than any other figure; Sandra Maxwell, Talbott’s ACORN ally in the bank battle, was also among the organizers consulted.

MORE, the Obama-supervised Woods Fund report ac knowledges the problem of getting donors and foundations to contribute to radical groups like ACORN - whose confrontational tactics often scare off even liberal donors and foundations.

Indeed, the report brags about pulling the wool over the public’s eye. The Woods Fund’s claim to be “nonideological,” it says, has “enabled the Trustees to make grants to organizations that use confrontational tactics against the business and government ‘establishments’ without undue risk of being criticized for partisanship.”

Hmm. Radicalism disguised by a claim to be postideological. Sound familiar?

The Woods Fund report makes it clear Obama was fully aware of the intimidation tactics used by ACORN’s Madeline Talbott in her pioneering efforts to force banks to suspend their usual credit standards. Yet he supported Talbott in every conceivable way. He trained her personal staff and other aspiring ACORN leaders, he consulted with her extensively, and he arranged a major boost in foundation funding for her efforts.

And, as the leader of another charity, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Obama channeled more funding Talbott’s way - ostensibly for education projects but surely supportive of ACORN’s overall efforts.

In return, Talbott proudly announced her support of Obama’s first campaign for state Senate, saying, “We accept and respect him as a kindred spirit, a fellow organizer.”

IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mort gage crisis, look to ACORN’s Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

Then you’ll truly know what community organizers do.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC.[/i]

Check out these excerpts from hearings on Fannie & Freddie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs

And Roger Kimball on the origin of the crisis:

http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/

Mark Levin Show…

Democrats Responsible for Market Meltdown

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:
Why is he unable to turn this financial crisis to his advantage?

[/quote]

One can only trust that it’s coming. They have not capitalized on truck load of issues. They are either running the worst campaign imaginable or we are in for one hell of a October add blitz.

My vote is for worst campaign imaginable.

[quote]dhickey wrote:
katzenjammer wrote:
Why is he unable to turn this financial crisis to his advantage?

One can only trust that it’s coming. They have not capitalized on truck load of issues. They are either running the worst campaign imaginable or we are in for one hell of a October add blitz.
[/quote]

Yep, Yep, Yep, they would make the most effective use of stuff like this in the last 2 weeks I keep talking about.

Saul Alinsky’s troops referred to them selves as “community organizers”

This guy and his supporters in congress are walking talking hypocritical deception machines.

The problem I have believing all the rhetoric about Obama’s ACORN stormtroopers (though I believe they exist) is that these bankers have a lot of money and therefore a lot of influence. Could they not use it to close the loopholes in the laws that demanded special lending to underperforming minorities? ACORN’s basic game is taking money from whites and giving it to non-whites. Let’s be honest. But could these lending institutions have not used their trillions to overcome…ACORN? I have a real problem believing that.

I mean, 9/10ths of the electorate wants the borders closed, yet they’re still open. Who’s to blame for that? Well, follow the money. I think there’s plenty of blame to be laid on Wall Street for this whole debacle. They packaged up these loans and sold them. They were more than happy to do so, lending standards be damned.

McCain can try to tie Obama to this, but Obama has a much more powerful weapon: white guilt. I think Victor Davis Hanson greatly underestimates its power. Anyone who tunes into the news will be told how racist America won’t be able to vote for Obama, when push comes to shove. VDH is right about that. But what he’s wrong about is that it won’t work.

How else did Obama get the nomination in the first place? There were plenty of other candidates with more experience and less confused about their own identity. The media and the Obama machine have cultivated the white guilt machine all along.

The reality is that McCain owns more houses than he can count, and like other aging white Baby Boomers, wanted prices to continue to rise no matter what. His nest egg was at stake. He can try to bring up ACORN and Obama’s support of reduced lending standards, but he and the rest of the Repubelickans controlled the Senate AND Congress for the first several years of the Bush administration.

What stopped them from getting the legislation passed to restore lending standards to pre-Jimmy Carter? We can only speculate. My guess is stated above, and it coincides with the reasons they took no action on the border: greed. You can always trust an aging white Baby Boomer to put the short-term fatness of his wallet above all else, even if it comes back to bite him in the long run.

McCain may make a go of it in the end, but I think he knows that he and the other Repubelickans made only feints at reform, just like their half-hearted efforts at appointing judges, passing border security legislation, and everything else we donors wanted them to do.

Now, given the changing demographics stemming from unrestricted immigration, there will be plenty of ACORNs, La Razas, and other organizations to push for give-aways and lowered standards in the future, and they will make up a much higher percentage of the voting population. The population that will vote for a McCain will be much smaller, and people like McCain, as in this instance, will have mostly themselves to blame. The Senate did whatever his little “Gang of 14” wanted. If he loses, it’s for a good reason.

/r

what PRCalDude said, old white guys looking to make a buck.

Some of the comments on the VDH piece katz linked are brilliant.

It’s about spending mentality.

As long as Americans believe they can live beyond their means forever, have 5 credit cards simultaneously, use a 7-seater 4-liter SUV to move one person, etc. there will always be periods where reality catches up.

Murdoch trying to spin this into a “Obama did it” is pathetic. I don’t believe for a second that some of the powerful institutions in the US can be intimidated or coerced into throwing money around. They saw a profit and went for it. Anything else is superfluous.

Bailouts and shit are just desperate attempts to artificially support the system. I say let the greedy motherflippers burn.

[quote]lixy wrote:
It’s about spending mentality.

As long as Americans believe they can live beyond their means forever, have 5 credit cards simultaneously, use a 7-seater 4-liter SUV to move one person, etc. there will always be periods where reality catches up.

Murdoch trying to spin this into a “Obama did it” is pathetic. I don’t believe for a second that some of the powerful institutions in the US can be intimidated or coerced into throwing money around. They saw a profit and went for it. Anything else is superfluous.

Bailouts and shit are just desperate attempts to artificially support the system. I say let the greedy motherflippers burn.[/quote]

I think it’s hilarious. Lixy can’t fucking function unless the topic is about her fucking terrorist brothers or she can turn the subject to blame America for Iraq.

What a fucking idiot. Funny - but a fucking idiot just the same.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
lixy wrote:
It’s about spending mentality.

As long as Americans believe they can live beyond their means forever, have 5 credit cards simultaneously, use a 7-seater 4-liter SUV to move one person, etc. there will always be periods where reality catches up.

Murdoch trying to spin this into a “Obama did it” is pathetic. I don’t believe for a second that some of the powerful institutions in the US can be intimidated or coerced into throwing money around. They saw a profit and went for it. Anything else is superfluous.

Bailouts and shit are just desperate attempts to artificially support the system. I say let the greedy motherflippers burn.

I think it’s hilarious. Lixy can’t fucking function unless the topic is about her fucking terrorist brothers or she can turn the subject to blame America for Iraq.

What a fucking idiot. Funny - but a fucking idiot just the same. [/quote]

Normally I wouldn’t get involved in Lixy bashing as it is too frequent to keep up with and really about the same thing over and over again.

However, I don’t see anywhere in his post about terrorists and/or Iraq. In fact, you have said much the same thing as he just said on many occasions about consumer greed and living beyond your means. How did you manage to get anything else from this post? Maybe because Lixy said it? Please explain.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
My vote is for worst campaign imaginable. [/quote]

I thought Obama was running a train wreck of a campaign thinking he was going to lose this election, now I think McCain’s campaign has turned into more of a wreck and it it seriously jeopardizing him.

On the other hand, I think it is not unreasonable to think we will see a 2000 all over again but with a larger percentage of the popular vote going to Obama and the electoral college going for McCain.

The biggest club yet in this campaign is laying in the corner and McCain has yet to pick it up and beat Obama with it. The fannie and freddie club.

The dems blocked every effort to reform these two rotten organizations and they are getting away with it right now. I still can’t believe the American people don’t get this one little fact.

It would be so easy for McCain to take this club and beat Obama and the dems silly with it. It is all on record. The dems can’t hide from this - but they need to be exposed and the media is not going to do it. He needs to bite on this bone and not let go.

There is also evidence out there how the feds pressured banks to loan money to under qualified people. And this is largely a democrat problem. Not totally but largely.

This is almost the equivalent to shooting someone in broad daylight and getting away with it.

[quote]ALDurr wrote:
rainjack wrote:
lixy wrote:
It’s about spending mentality.

As long as Americans believe they can live beyond their means forever, have 5 credit cards simultaneously, use a 7-seater 4-liter SUV to move one person, etc. there will always be periods where reality catches up.

Murdoch trying to spin this into a “Obama did it” is pathetic. I don’t believe for a second that some of the powerful institutions in the US can be intimidated or coerced into throwing money around. They saw a profit and went for it. Anything else is superfluous.

Bailouts and shit are just desperate attempts to artificially support the system. I say let the greedy motherflippers burn.

I think it’s hilarious. Lixy can’t fucking function unless the topic is about her fucking terrorist brothers or she can turn the subject to blame America for Iraq.

What a fucking idiot. Funny - but a fucking idiot just the same.

Normally I wouldn’t get involved in Lixy bashing as it is too frequent to keep up with and really about the same thing over and over again.

However, I don’t see anywhere in his post about terrorists and/or Iraq. In fact, you have said much the same thing as he just said on many occasions about consumer greed and living beyond your means. How did you manage to get anything else from this post? Maybe because Lixy said it? Please explain.[/quote]

My point was, that she can’t function properly UNLESS she is on her pro-terrorist talking points. You know - the incessant turning of almost every conversation around to the US presence in Iraq.

In this post, she is clearly attempting to smear Fox News by invoking the name of Murdoch. It is pointless. It is stupid. And it is hilarious.

I’d like to discuss this further, but I have to go drive around 5.3 liter, 7 seater Suburban out for a fun little pointless cruise around the country side.

[quote]ALDurr wrote:
rainjack wrote:
lixy wrote:
It’s about spending mentality.

As long as Americans believe they can live beyond their means forever, have 5 credit cards simultaneously, use a 7-seater 4-liter SUV to move one person, etc. there will always be periods where reality catches up.

Murdoch trying to spin this into a “Obama did it” is pathetic. I don’t believe for a second that some of the powerful institutions in the US can be intimidated or coerced into throwing money around. They saw a profit and went for it. Anything else is superfluous.

Bailouts and shit are just desperate attempts to artificially support the system. I say let the greedy motherflippers burn.

I think it’s hilarious. Lixy can’t fucking function unless the topic is about her fucking terrorist brothers or she can turn the subject to blame America for Iraq.

What a fucking idiot. Funny - but a fucking idiot just the same.

Normally I wouldn’t get involved in Lixy bashing as it is too frequent to keep up with and really about the same thing over and over again.

However, I don’t see anywhere in his post about terrorists and/or Iraq. In fact, you have said much the same thing as he just said on many occasions about consumer greed and living beyond your means. How did you manage to get anything else from this post? Maybe because Lixy said it? Please explain.[/quote]

I didn’t either, but that doesn’t mean we need to jump to his defense. He does so much of what RJ said that a screw-up or two on our part shouldn’t mean that we need to fall all over ourselves to apologize.

RJ said essentially the ame thing on another thread, but his meaning and lixy’s were different. Lixy intends this to mean, “American imperialist dogs, (Allah curse them!), must learn to consume their fair share and stop starving children in the third-world.”

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
ALDurr wrote:
rainjack wrote:
lixy wrote:
It’s about spending mentality.

As long as Americans believe they can live beyond their means forever, have 5 credit cards simultaneously, use a 7-seater 4-liter SUV to move one person, etc. there will always be periods where reality catches up.

Murdoch trying to spin this into a “Obama did it” is pathetic. I don’t believe for a second that some of the powerful institutions in the US can be intimidated or coerced into throwing money around. They saw a profit and went for it. Anything else is superfluous.

Bailouts and shit are just desperate attempts to artificially support the system. I say let the greedy motherflippers burn.

I think it’s hilarious. Lixy can’t fucking function unless the topic is about her fucking terrorist brothers or she can turn the subject to blame America for Iraq.

What a fucking idiot. Funny - but a fucking idiot just the same.

Normally I wouldn’t get involved in Lixy bashing as it is too frequent to keep up with and really about the same thing over and over again.

However, I don’t see anywhere in his post about terrorists and/or Iraq. In fact, you have said much the same thing as he just said on many occasions about consumer greed and living beyond your means. How did you manage to get anything else from this post? Maybe because Lixy said it? Please explain.

I didn’t either, but that doesn’t mean we need to jump to his defense. He does so much of what RJ said that a screw-up or two on our part shouldn’t mean that we need to fall all over ourselves to apologize.

RJ said essentially the ame thing on another thread, but his meaning and lixy’s were different. Lixy intends this to mean, “American imperialist dogs, (Allah curse them!), must learn to consume their fair share and stop starving children in the third-world.”
[/quote]

Or maybe, just this once, he’s making a legitmate critique of the spending habits of most Americans.

Too many years in the Senate. He lost his balls in there, becoming the Great Compromiser. And…no balls, no glory.

Obama will win.

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:

The reality is that McCain owns more houses than he can count, and like other aging white Baby Boomers, wanted prices to continue to rise no matter what. His nest egg was at stake. He can try to bring up ACORN and Obama’s support of reduced lending standards, but he and the rest of the Repubelickans controlled the Senate AND Congress for the first several years of the Bush administration.

What stopped them from getting the legislation passed to restore lending standards to pre-Jimmy Carter? We can only speculate. My guess is stated above
[/quote]

They may have controlled the congress in '03, but Dems still had control of several key committees and ruthlessly blocked the big F/F reform bill in committee (party line vote).

I agree that Repubs did not do everything they could have done, but there were two rather huge roadblocks by the dems that would have largely averted the crisis in the first place.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

They may have controlled the congress in '03, but Dems still had control of several key committees and ruthlessly blocked the big F/F reform bill in committee (party line vote).

I agree that Repubs did not do everything they could have done, but there were two rather huge roadblocks by the dems that would have largely averted the crisis in the first place.[/quote]

So we’re all in agreement…it’s Bush’s fault.