Thursday, December 31, 2009

-UPDATED- How Did The Foreclosure Crisis Start?

4 Informed Opinions

There has been quite the hot debate going on in the comment section of this blog post over at The Bakersfield Californian. Essentially, what's up for debate is the causal reason of the foreclosure crisis, and the subsequent recession. So, in an attempt to lay out what happened, when and who was involved, I submit the following.

Before we get to everything, there are two very important points I wish to make. First, were the Democratics solely responsible for the foreclosure crisis? No, not solely. They were, as you'll see below, primarily responsible. Second, every elected official (well, damn near all of them anyway) is scum. They primarily seek to enrich themselves and their specific interests. Why be a conservative then and not an anarchist? Because, I understand that some government is needed. The less, the better. How can anyone benefit with an over-reaching bureaucratic mess entangled in every part of your life? Better to support a party who, at least in theory, is for smaller and less government.

Let's begin.

  • In 1977, while Jimmuh Carter was President and Tip O'Neill and Robert 'KKK' Byrd were Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader, respectively, the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA, law was passed. Passed with the best intentions, the CRA was intended to cut down on discriminatory lending practices and open up loans to borrowers in low and moderate income neighborhoods.

  • Then in 1980, with the same players in power, Congress passed the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act. This act removed the state limits on interest rates banks could charge on mortgages. Amongst other things, this legislation was a continuation of the policy to get more low and moderate income home ownership, by giving banks more incentive to lend to riskier parties.

  • In 1982, with Reagan in the White House, and Democratics still in control of both houses of congress, the Alternative Mortgage Transactions Parity Act was passed. AMTPA specifically allowed alternative types of financing on home loans other than traditional fixed rate mortgages. Again, here as with before, the intention was to open up home ownership to low and moderate-income households by offering additional methods to finance a house.

  • Starting in 1995, the GSE's (read: oxymoron), Government Sponsored Enterprises, began to receive government tax incentives to purchase mortgage backed securities. This is a critical turning point in the foreclosure crisis, because later it will be shown that after HUD set goals for the GSE's to buy more subprime paper, which are riskier than traditional mortgages and have a higher rate of failure, the GSE's turned around and sold to investment banks as low-risk investments.

  • In 1997, congress passed, and President Clinton signed the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. This legislation reduced the capital gains on the sale of homes under $500,000. This action alone did nothing to impact the foreclosure crisis. However, when coupled with insane subprime lending practices, these tax rates made home sales the best return on the dollar investment for the average person. Thus began the home speculation wave.

  • In 1998, HUD Director Andrew Cuomo held a press conference detailing a settlement reached with a major bank on a lending discrimination case, presumably based on the CRA. The result of the settlement was $2.1 Billion for subprime loan offers. He admits that the lawsuit forced the bank to lower it's qualification standards as a remedy to the 'discriminatory' lending practices. This is is another crucial turn in the foreclosure crisis. The press conference was a warning to other lending institutions that the administration intended to interpret the CRA laws broadly and that the full force of the Clinton Administration would be aligned against any company that did not meet their standards of the CRA.

    It is these enforcement techniques coupled with the marketing of the MBS as low-risk investments which spurred the enthusiastic subprime lending from the private lenders. What was the risk? Offer risky loans to low-income applicants making a large profit, then sell the asset to the GSE's which then acquired the risk. No risk, high profit subprime loans then became a no lose option for the private lenders.

  • The next step is one of supply and demand. With a flood of new 'qualified buyers' on the market for homes, the new home builders went gonzo. New home starts went through the roof, as demand never seemed to dry up. Demand out paced supply until sometime during mid 2006. Once the supply of homes outweighed the demand by consumers, home prices began to fall. It is this fall coupled with insane personal debt amounts that would begin the foreclosure crisis. During the boom years between 1998 and 2006, home owners were able to use their homes as banks, borrowing against the equity in their home at values higher than the home's actual value, all while banking on the increasing value of the home. Also at this time, Adjustable Rate Mortgages were in demand allowing a home owner to purchase the home with an introductory, low interest rate, which would adjust after 3-5 years. The expectation was that the value of the home would have risen during that time, allowing the owner to refinance into another ARM or traditional loan, at a lower interest rate. It was this expectation of an ever increasing home value that lead home owner after home owner to extend their personal debt beyond the sustainable point.

    Once home values began to fall, and adjustable rate mortgages adjusted, many home owners were no longer able to afford their monthly mortgage payments. As a result, foreclosures began to rise. In turn home values fell further causing the housing bubble to burst.

  • Finally, and most despicably, the systematic fraud committed by the two GSE's in mis-stating earnings as to increase the bonus compensation for the executive staff's allowed the crisis to continue on long after it should have. The GSE's were government entities, so they could borrow money at lower interest rates, they required less capitalization and they had less regulations all of which were supposed to translate into more money available to securitize mortgages. Instead, names like Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick and Jim Johnson all cooked the books in order to increase their bonuses. At the same time, Alan Greenspan was pointing out the dangers of the GSE's weak capitalization. There were voices of reason, but few had ears to listen.

Liberals, Progressives and Democratics are all quick to point at the Republicans and claim that it was through deregulation that the subprime mortgage crisis began. As a point of fact, Democratics repeatedly attacked and undermined the regulators which oversaw the two GSE's, accusing them of being bigoted and attacking Franklin Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae. In reality the foreclosure crisis is as a result of the Carter Administration's efforts to expand low and moderate-income home ownership through the CRA along with DIDMCA's removal of interest rate caps and AMTPA's opening up of non-traditional loan types, coupled with the Clinton Administration's aggressive enforcement of it's own broad interpretation of the CRA which coerced the free market into supporting subprime loans. The deregulation in and of itself had little to do with the foreclosure crisis. It was primarily through the efforts of the Clinton Administration that brought us the crisis.

In the early 2000's, some Republicans in congress were able to see the policy which kept the GSE's under capitalized and allowed the GSE's to purchase risky subprime paper and resell them as low risk investments had the potential to bring the financial system to its knees. These Republicans proposed new regulation attempting to increase the capital which the GSE's had on hand and attempted to reduce the quota's for subprime acquisitions set up by earlier sessions of congress. In the end, however, the Republicans failed to use their majority in both houses of congress to force the regulation instead acquiescing to the minority party. Watch below as several Democratic congresscritters attack the regulators from OFHEO.

So, here we are on the other side of this orgy of destruction, and who is to be held responsible?

Christopher Dodd (D-CT) The Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee blocked legislation from Republicans which attempted to rein in the GSE's undercapitalized vacuuming of subprime paper. He, the largest recipient of campaign donations from Freddie and Fannie, killed the legislation in committee.

William Jefferson 'BJ' Clinton (D-AR) The former President was instrumental in pushing the banking industry into expanding home loans to the low and moderate-income markets. So set on the increase in ownership that he was willfully ignorant of the destruction his policies would have on the financial markets of this country in the coming years.

Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) As Director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Cuomo set the standard by which all lending institutions would be judged. He used his bully pulpit to praise his department's efforts in winning a $2.1 Billion settlement which would be used to provide subprime loans. He went as far as to admit that the loans were riskier and had a higher rate of failure, yet did nothing to undo the damage he'd begun.

Honorable Mentions:

Barney Frank (D-MA) As the ranking Democratic on the House Financial Services Committee, he opposed a proposal in 2003 to remove the oversight of Fannie and Freddie to a new agency under the Treasury Department. The justification for the proposal was that congress neither had the tools nor the stature for adequate oversight, however, Frank opposed the move stating "These two entities... are not facing any type of financial crisis... The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." It should also be noted that Mr. Frank had a relationship with Herb Moses, the CEO of Fannie Mae and referred to him as his "spouse" and his "lover."

Barack Obama (D-IL) The Race Baiter in Chief sued Citibank under the CRA laws to force them to make risky loans. Obama was listed in a class action lawsuit along with ACORN against Citibank alleging that the bank had specifically denied loans based upon racism. This NY Post article makes it clear that Obama was aware of the intimidation tactics being used against Citibank and yet still supported the plaintiff in the lawsuit. This leaves little doubt that Obama was not only aware of ACORN's tactics in attempting to strong arm banks into making risky loans, but was complicit, as well.

A word about lenders, borrowers and the free market. It is often alleged that predatory lenders were responsible for the foreclosure crisis by preying upon unsuspecting borrowers, encouraging them to take loans that the borrowers could never possibly afford to pay back. One would be foolish to believe that this did not happen. However, this scenario was spawned by every other action listed in this post. Predatory lenders had no influence on the CRA, DIDMCA, AMTPA, the dropping of capital gains taxes, the increased mandate for the GSE's to purchase subprime paper, and on and on. This was a by product of the failure of the government, period. In the list of people who need be held responsible, the consumer themselves should not be ruled out. Similarly to the predatory lenders, they were not responsible in starting the foreclosure crisis, but without their uninformed and greedy borrowing, this crisis would never has gotten as large as it became. Ultimately, when you place your signature on those 200 different forms, you are in effect saying that you understand the terms of the loan for which you are signing. It is your responsibility to understand what your are getting yourself into. When a person loses their home and cries that they had no idea, I feel little sorrow. For that person claimed on a legal document that they did, in fact, understand what they were getting into.

The free market is not to blame for what went wrong here. It was only through the manipulation of that free market and players within that market that this crisis came to be. The market left to it's own devices will regulate itself. Greedy and predatory lenders will go out of business as customers become wise to their practices and purchase from someone else. Lending institutions will offer loans which will be competitive with other lenders, but secure enough as not to be overly risky. No company goes into business looking to scare away potential customers and few customers go into a business relationship without knowing exactly what they are consuming and for how much. It is these principles that guide the free market to function and correct when it needs to.


Paul pointed out in the comments some facts I left out on predatory lenders: Uncollateralized loans.
The idea that someone could approve the loan of and move someone into a house without the borrower so much as having a job was also begun during the Clinton Administration's Gestapo forced lending tactics. A whole new cottage industry called "Mortgage Origination Offices" cropped up in all the neighborhoods where payday loan places do good business.

Paul goes on to reference this Wall Street Journal Article which shows the areas that are hardest hit by default rates. Paul notes the areas which are hardest hit also seem to have the highest unemployment rates, and the lowest incomes. The areas are referred to as Urban Enterprise Zones, which are areas in which development of blighted neighborhoods is encouraged through tax and regulatory relief. With the revelation of tactics used by community advocate groups such as ACORN, there is a strong possibility that these groups were instrumental in securing loans for some of those now in default.


This subject is so large, and the damage so widespread that it is difficult to sum up all of the factors that played a roll in the eventual meltdown in a single post, let alone at 3:00 in the morning. A commenter at TBC points out that artificially low interest rates in the early 2000's encouraged lending practices that were out of control. This is true, however, it's important to note that low interest rates alone could not have caused this crisis. It is only when all of the pieces are strung together that you get the financial meltdown we are all currently experiencing.

Fed policy in the early 2000's was to keep the economy afloat after the dot com bubble and 9/11. In order to encourage people to continue spending money and making investments, and with the help of a wave of foreign cash from growing Asian economies, money was made cheap and available. The Fed policy was foolish, but, as pointed out with several other steps in the eventual crisis, not without good intentions. The intent was to keep the economy moving and minimize the downturn. As a result, the dot com bubble was not burst, but instead moved to become the housing bubble. This is why conservatives, but primarily libertarians believe that the Federal Government should not get involved in financial downturns or crashes. With limited exception, the FedGov always makes the situation worse.

Please take the time to comment!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Which Party Had More Representation in the "Ten Most Corrupt Politicians" for 2009 List?

4 Informed Opinions

I recommend you head over to Judicial Watch to read the entire post, but here for your enjoyment are a few of the top ten.

1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 “Ten Most Corrupt” list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based OneUnited Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was OneUnited Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Rep. Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator," and Treasury granted the funds. (The bank continues to flounder despite Frank’s intervention for federal dollars.) Moreover, Judicial Watch uncovered documents in 2009 that showed that members of Congress for years were aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were playing fast and loose with accounting issues, risk assessment issues and executive compensation issues, even as liberals led by Rep. Frank continued to block attempts to rein in the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). For example, during a hearing on September 10, 2003, before the House Committee on Financial Services considering a Bush administration proposal to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Rep. Frank stated: "I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury." Frank received $42,350 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 1989 and 2008. Frank also engaged in a relationship with a Fannie Mae Executive while serving on the House Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly "forget" to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow “forgot” about $1 million in assets.) And what did he do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: “The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently ‘wrangling’ other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles...Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him.” Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That’s why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.

Be sure to read through the entire list to see the lone Republican and highest elected politician in the land. It stands to reason that because the Republicans are out of power, they hold fewer spots (read: one) on the list. Why attempt to buy off a politician who doesn't have much of anything to give you?

Please take the time to comment!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

H.R. 666, Hunger Obstruction and Restriction; Starvation Halting Initiative Tenets

6 Informed Opinions

Borrowed from
If Health Care is a right, then surely Food is a Right...

Whereas, all residents of the United States are created equal; and Whereas it is the responsibility of the Congress of the United States to provide for the common defense and welfare of the residents of the United States; and Whereas from each according to their ability, to each according to their need; it is proposed this day, the 28th of December in the Year of 2009, a bill, H.R. 666, to provide for the sustenance of all residents of the United States.

H.R. 666
Title: A bill to provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and distribute foodstuffs and nourishment for the purposes of reducing and preventing hunger as well as shafting taxpayers, to amend the United States Department of Agriculture Code of 1946 to provide incentives for food redistribution and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual hunger relief, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Socialisme, Pierre J. [WI-7] (introduced 12/28/2009) Cosponsors (124)

Division A: Emergency Hunger Reduction - Hunger Obstruction and Restriction; Starvation Halting Initiative Tenets (hereinafter HORSHIT) Title I: Emergency Hunger Reduction - Unrestricted Redistributive Sustenance Collection Ratification and Withholding Directive (hereinafter URSCRWD) Authorizes the Secretary of the USDA (Secretary) to establish URSCRWD to collect foodstuffs from production locations, in accordance with the terms, conditions and policies set forth in the HORSHIT bill; and redistribute the sustenance to parties determined to be deserving as established in H.R. 6362, YOUGAVEUPYOURSOVEREIGNTYWHENWEENACTEDTHEQUALITYAFFORDABLE

Directs the Secretary to establish within the Office of Domestic Fulfillment of the Department of Agriculture an Office of Hunger Eradication and Contentment Stability, through which URSCRWD shall be implemented.

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) designate family and corporate farms as public enterprises and agents of the federal government; and (2) establishes commodities to be seized, held and redistributed as well as designate new debtors.

Directs the Secretary to prevent unjust enrichment of involuntarily participatory family and corporate farms, including any sale of a foodstuff or commodity (with no exceptions) to any entity outside of the United States Government.

(Sec. 1963) Requires the Secretary, once URSCRWD is established, to create a public entity to seize all wealth generated as a result of foodstuff and commodity production prior to the enactment of the HORSHIT act.

Title II: Director Appropriated Mandates and Directives (hereinafter DAMN) - (Sec. 1917) Requires all information gathered by the Secretary in connection with activities authorized under the HORSHIT act, be used against any private enterprises attempting to enter the market as a for profit entity.

(Sec. Woodstock) Requires the Secretary to report to the Justice Department any free market enterprise which resists the HORSHIT and URSCRWD acts, and establishes punitive fines for any such entity in the amount of $250,000 for each violation.

Title III: Tax The Hell Out Of Them Provisions - (Sec. Marx) Provides for extraordinary income or loss treatment of gain or loss from the exchange of any applicable foodstuff or commodity by any applicable public family or corporate farm entity. Defines 'any applicable foodstuff or commodity' as anything we damn well choose.

(Sec. Teddy Kennedy) Provides for the taxation of any business, individual or entity not listed or described in this legislation, at the rate of 150% of every U.S. Dollar earned so that the collective wealth may be redistributed to ACRON, COI, United States Green Party, and The Nancy Pelosi Plastic Surgery Foundation

(Sec. Stalin) Specifically prevents the closure, dissolution or bankruptcy of any family or corporate farm in existence at the time of the authoring of this bill, and relegates the ownership, employees and 'help' (both paid and non-paid) of these family and corporate farms as indentured servants for the remainder of their natural born lives, unless they choose to become registered Democrats, donors to the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Moonbat activists for the remainder of their ambulatory existance.

Title IV: Repealment - There ain't none, and repealment is expressly prohibited.

Call your Congressional representation and Senators to urge their support for the HORSHIT bill and the DAMN URSCRWD act of 2009.

Please take the time to comment!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Republic Not Dictatorship

3 Informed Opinions

Tonight I received a copy of the California Young Republican's by-laws. The by-laws are the governing dictates, by which the CYR members conduct their meetings, choose their leadership, open new clubs and determine what clubs are in good standing. I am reading through the by-laws currently and will post the relevant sections concerning elections, circumstances and procedure for removal of an elected official.

However, I have had opportunity to speak directly with Bryan Williams, the Chair of the Kern County Young Republicans. During our conversation, Mr. Williams discussed the current 'controversy' which is nothing of the sort.

While speaking with Mr. Williams he pointed out that all of the chartered, and in good-standing, clubs of the California Young Republicans, Inc. were represented according to proper noticing procedures laid out in the CYR by-laws. He also stated that the two clubs which are not in good standing, Silicon Valley and San Francisco, were also invited to take part, but chose not to attend. Finally, and possibly most damningly, Mr. Williams said that Jenniffer Rodriguez herself was invited to take part in the election, but chose not to attend.

Mr. Williams emphasized that the CYRs are directed by an elected board and not solely by and elected Chair.

After speaking with Mr. Williams, I discussed the goings on within the California Young Republicans with some individuals in a position to have direct knowledge. It was made clear to me that in Jenniffer Rodriguez's actions to unify the Young Republican Federation of California and the California Young Republican's, Inc. were not sanctioned by the board, and were in many cases outside of what the by-laws allowed. Ms. Rodriguez attempted to recognize Young Republican groups as voting members of the California Young Republicans, Inc. which were not chartered members and were not eligible to contribute to CYR activities and procedures. In this manner, Ms. Rodriguez hoped to create a majority of 'CYR's' which would vote in favor of uniting the YRFC's and the CYR's. It is these actions which cost Ms. Rodriguez the support of the board of directors of the California Young Republicans. It is worth pointing out that Ms. Rodriguez is not new to controversy, she and her predecessor Catherine Brinkman had a dispute which involved the CYR, Inc. website. As a result of this dispute, Ms. Brinkman held onto the website and ultimately passed control of it to Ms. Rodriguez's successor, Andy Stanley.

The bottom line is that Ms. Rodriguez was operating outside the CYR by-laws and the CYR's had no recourse but to remove her from her position. As I stated at the opener, I am reading through the CYR by-laws and will report what I find. If the CYR's operated outside of their by-laws, I will report it, right here.

Please take the time to comment!

Hate To Do This...

0 Informed Opinions

After stating that I would never, ever post at, I have started a blog specifically to cover this local CYR issue.  The comments have been coming in, hot and heavy.  Be sure to visit and comment if you wish.  I'd love to have your support!

The blog that's getting all the attention is Who's Reporting On the Contested Young Republicans Election?

Please take the time to comment!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Awaiting A Statement From the Chair of the California Young Republicans

0 Informed Opinions

Be sure to read the back story, here!

Today has been an interesting day. I've learned quite a bit about local politics and the players within. After reading a simple post on a local radio personality's Facebook page, I began to fall head first into what, at least in the world of California Young Republicans, is a big story. The first link I followed was to the Young Republican National Federation statement on the California Young Republican's recent elections for state office. The statement started of well enough, but ended with a statement which seems fishy to me. The section in question is:
"We are very hopeful that this matter will not further devolve into yet another example of YRs beating each other over the head with bylaws and rules..."
Maybe I am wrong here, and feel free to correct me below, but aren't bylaws the structure in place by which the YR's govern themselves? I mean if we are to throw out the bylaws in search of an 'amicable' solution, then I declare myself Supreme Leader of the National Young Republicans, and as such will be leader for the rest of my natural born life. I further decree that I and only I have the power to appoint state party chairs. This obviously is hyperbole, but you catch my drift. Of course, I do not know what the motives of the YRNF are, nor do I claim to understand why they worded their statement in such a way, I am merely pointing out the interesting choice of words.

After reading the statement from the YRNF, I did a Google search for anything and everything I could find on the contested CYR election. Inevitably I found some very inflammatory blog posts purporting to ascribe motives for the actions of the parties involved. Even more interesting is that when I contacted several members of the CYR's and the KCYR's, I found that no one contacted them before writing about this story.

The question is then begged, who is writing about this? I'm glad you asked! Follow along.

Gretchen Wenner is a staff writer for the Bakersfield Californian and is what would be called in this day and age, a real reporter. She penned this blog post, over at the Californian, covering the happenings. Wenner quotes from the YRNF, and uses statements from Jennifer Rodriguez, the current/former CYR Chair, but has made no attempt to get a statement from any of the KCYR's she mentions by name. I thought reporters were supposed to present both sides of a story? She is also sure to include the ominous 'Abernathy link.' Abernathy, more specifically, is a gentleman by the name of Mark Abernathy who is a political consultant and has worked with several high profile local politicians. He's also linked with a former Congressman from this area, Bill Thomas, who was involved in an interparty spat nearly 15 years ago which, according to this Flash Report, caused the split of the California Young Republicans forming the secondary group the Young Republican Federation of California.

Jon Fleischman is the editor of the 'Flash Report,' a conservative website covering California Political News and the "elected Vice Chairman, South of the California Republican Party." He is also head of the Fleischman Consulting Group. Jon was affiliated with the Don Rogers group which waged a bitter war with the Bill Thomas camp for the control and direction of the YR's and CA state GOP back in the mid 1990's, see the appropriate comment by Vic Pollard at this post. Apparently, Mr. Fleischman still holds a grudge against Kern County, and the members of the KCYR's. I wont make any statements as to Mr. Fleischman's character, but you can learn more about him from his websites, which are linked, as well as the Orange Juice blog, linked here.

Bill Lind is the head coordinator of the Bakersfield/Kern County Tea Party Patriots. You can read more about Bill in this article from the Bakersfield Californian. From reading through Bill's blog postings strewn across the internet, Bill has a problem with those he deems to be 'Moderate Republicans.' He claims to be concerned with the 'self serving Kern County Young Republican Leadership' getting in the way of reuniting the two Young Republican groups within California in the interest of forming one strong conservative group of young activists. Bill points to a statement from the recently elected chair of the Young Republican Federation of California, Adam Abrahms, which states that the CYR's and the YRFC's have been in discussions to reunite the two groups. However, seemingly unable to let the past differences go, Mr. Abrahms again points out that his problem is with some 'self serving moderates' in Kern County.'  Sounds like he really is striving for reunification, no?

The Bloodhound is a blogger at Red County and has a similar disdain for those they see as moderates. The Bloodhound has gone as far as to accuse Congressman Kevin McCarthy of having been behind the recent elections, which they proclaim to be 'immature and disloyal actions.' I am not sure what the identity of The Bloodhound is, but they seem to have very similar interests and biases to those of Mr. Lind.

Okay, so now that we know who the players are on the 'media side,' let me ask some pointed questions...

  • What makes the actions of these CYR's wrong? 
  •  Do any of these 'media' personnel have a copy of the CYR bylaws?  If not, how do they know the actions of these clubs and members were outside of what the bylaws allowed?
  • Why has no one involved in reporting on this story, other than myself, attempted to contact any members of these organizations?
  • Why is there a rumor floating around within the CYR ranks that Jenniffer Rodriguez has lost the support of a vast majority of the CYR Board?  Why hasn't anyone else reported this?
  • Kern, Kings, Fresno, Monterey, Sacramento, Tulare and Los Angeles County clubs were all represented at the recent meeting in Sacramento; what legitimate CYR groups were not represented there?  Why?
  • How many clubs and/or members must be present to have an election qualify as legitimate?
  • It's been asserted that Jenniffer Rodriguez has been operating outside of the CYR bylaws.  If this is the case, what is the procedure for removal of her title and position within the CYR's?
Continue to tune in! As soon as I have statements from those involved, I will update the story.  If you have something to add, or if I am in need of correction, please feel free to notify me either through the comments below, or via email.

Please take the time to comment!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Controversy Within the Young California Republicans

5 Informed Opinions

Back at the beginning of December, the California Young Republicans gathered at their annual convention in Sacramento, California in order to elect their State Officers. The following YR's were elected to the following positions:

Chairman Andy Stanley (Kern County)
Executive Vice Chairman Amanda Richardson (Monterey County)
Administrative Vice Chairman Tal Eslick (Fresno County)
Treasurer Ryan Dixon (Kern County)
Secretary Scott Raab (Sacramento County)
National Committeeman Zack Scrivner (Kern County)
National Committeewoman Dana Culhane (Kern County)
Communications Director Karen Elizes (Los Angeles County)
Finance Director Joan Silva (Kings County)
There's only one problem... the Chairman from 2008-2009, Jenniffer Rodriguez, has not conceded and goes a step further stating that no election has occurred. She goes on to say that no elections are scheduled until next year. Therefore, the CYR's have two individuals, both representing themselves as the duly elected Chairman of the California Young Republicans. The Young Republican National Federation posted the following message on their website on December 8, 2009:
This morning, members of the National Committee may have received a release from Andy Stanley who has represented that on Saturday, December 5, 2009, he was duly elected Chairman of the California Young Republicans, Inc. (CYRs) at that organization's annual convention. Jenniffer Rodriguez, who prior to Saturday, was unquestionably the Chairman of the CYRs, represents that no convention, and thus no election, of the CYRs has occurred. She further represents that the duly called convention for the election of CYR officers is not scheduled until next year. Both Mr. Stanley and Ms. Rodriguez represent that different persons now hold various offices within the CYRs. In support of their own legitimacy, and the illegitimacy of the other camp, both sets of individuals maintain they have each followed the rules of the CYRs and, predictably, that the other set has not.

The fact that there are now two sets of individuals who purport to be the leaders of the CYR organization is troubling and an unnecessary distraction leading into the critically important 2010 election cycle, particularly since California will elect a Untied States Senator, a Governor, and numerous members of Congress in closely contested districts. It is an unacceptable situation which will also distract from the work of the YRNF and undoubtedly trigger countless blind carbon copy e-mails to the entire membership list of the YRNF and likely well beyond memorializing every minute detail of the dispute. It will further provide opponents of the Republican Party ample fodder to suggest that members of our party are incapable of coming together to achieve victory. The leadership of the YRNF strongly urges the CYRs to resolve this matter quickly and in accordance with its rules, the rules of the YRNF and with Californa law.

Because the legitimacy of what occurred on December 5, 2009 is in dispute, until there has been a resolution, the leadership of the CYRs as it existed prior to December 5, 2009 will continue to be recognized by the YRNF until or unless there is further action by the National Committee or until such time as the matter is resolved by the CYRs. The YRNF will continue to recognize the Chairman, National Committeeman and National Committeewoman of the CYRs as it did prior to December 5, 2009 and no changes by either alleged leadership team will be accepted. Should any of these individuals resign, their replacement on the National Committee will not be seated until the matter is resolved. Further, if this matter is not resolved by the spring, it may be impossible for the National Committee to determine whether the CYRs have submitted a full and complete state survey and ultimately compromise their charter as the recognized organization of Young Republicans in California.

We are very hopeful that this matter will not further devolve into yet another example of YRs beating each other over the head with bylaws and rules - and also that the spirit of the holiday season will encourage all sides to come together and reach an amicable resolution.

For it's part, the California Republican Party website recognizes the CYR organization and has Jenniffer Rodriguez listed as Chair. The CA GOP website also links to the CYR website which outlines the recent election of the new officers. The state party, however, has made no statement regarding the election, and contested leadership within the Young Republicans.

In my searching for information on the topic, I have found only one 'article' relating to the subject, which accuses the members of the Kern County Young Republicans of attempting to hijack the organization and consolidate control within their local chapter. One prominent politician, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and a politically connected businessman, Mark Abernathy, are also said to be involved in the 'attempted coup.' I have personally requested a statement from three members of the KCYR's; Chairman Bryan Williams, NME Chair Andy Stanley, Vice Chair Dana Culhane, and am currently awaiting a response. I will update the blog as soon as I have more information.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Evil Genius At Work!

5 Informed Opinions

Reg Henry

Please, do not follow this link and give the Pittsburgh Post Gazette any traffic. Apparently the Post Gazette has a special needs hiring program and one Reg Henry has benefited. Mr. Henry writes a column lamenting the evil genius of them damn right-wingers and their attacks on the pure hearted, and good intentioned Barack Hussein Obama. After extolling the genuine goodness of Mr. Obama he takes him to task for just taking to stinking long to think about things. Of course, it's the evil-genius republicans who are forcing PeeBo into this difficult spot. I shall quote from the dimbulb, below:
"This is where the evil geniuses (political) come in. The challenge for them is that old bugbear, reality. They are faced with a president who obviously wants to find the middle road and end partisanship and who is by nature cautious and good-hearted. In human terms, these are endearing traits -- and, of course, that will never do. Reality must be changed because partisanship must endure, otherwise evil geniuses would be unemployed.

The work of changing reality began quickly, even before the election. Almost in the same breath it was put around that not only did Mr. Obama attend the shocking Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Christian church for many years but also he was a Muslim, which would be a very strange thing for a Muslim to do. (When I go to church, I rarely see any Muslims). To sell this bizarre and contradictory notion took genius."

Of course Mr. Henry neglects to mention that Louis Farrakhan is a close personal friend of Jeremiah Wright, and that the Revarund often quoted Crazy Louis. He also fails to point out that Mr. Farrakhan is the cover story of the November/December 2007 issue of Wright’s Trinity United Church Of Christ’s magazine. So as you can see it's highly illogical to assume that PeeBo may have some Muslim leanings.
"The troublesome idea that the president is smart had to be turned around, too. Fortunately for the evil geniuses, Mr. Obama, while visibly tired on the campaign trail, stumbled and referred to 57 states, which confirmed the populist image of ex-presidents of the Harvard Law Review as Dumbos. A normal person would look at this and other slips often mentioned and just laugh but that would be to be underestimate evil and genius both.

The touch of genius is also upon the fuss about teleprompters (all modern presidents have used them) and unconfirmed czars (recent presidents have had them -- and, moreover, when experts were called to Congress to testify about this concern they agreed they were constitutional). Still, you have to admire the genius of those who tied people's knickers in a twist."

Do we really have to go over how smart PeeBo really isn't again?! I'm not going to rehash what a moron the POTUS really is. If you need examples, please see any/every post over at Paul's place. And the whole Teleprompter thing is sooo partisan and evil that even that bastion of right wing ideals, The Onion chronicled it's over use by PeeBo.
"The same can be said of the string pullers for the tea-bag protest movement. The very name conjures up the spirit of those who resisted taxes in Boston long ago, except that one of Mr. Obama's first acts was to pass a stimulus package that included tax cuts for most taxpayers. To make people forget about this was genius, sheer genius."
These must be the tax breaks Mr. Henry was talking about...

Of course, Mr. Henry gets most worked up, however, about those damn tea bag people calling PeeBo a Marxist Socialist!
"But in my view the greatest act of evil genius was to dust off the hoary stereotypes about Marxists and socialists and apply them to Mr. Obama, a leader milquetoast enough to confound any real revolutionaries.

And how can these labels have any sting in an era that thought it proper for Communist China to own most of our debt and produce most of our consumer goods? And how can they call health-care reform socialism when the public option barely hangs on? Genius, my friends, and evil at that."

Because we all know that nationalizing the banking industry and striving to nationalize the healthcare industry are bedrock capitalist principles.

I wonder if Mr. Henry has ever stopped to ponder why the Post Gazette is losing it's ass? The last report I can find of an increase in readership was while Clinton was still playing hide the cigar with Monica.

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Obviously One of Obamas Saved Jobs

2 Informed Opinions

Ever wanted to see some kids 350Z rice burner get royally effed up?  I didn't think I did either, until I saw these pictures.

Yes, if you are wondering, those are wood screws. This genius, while completing a '$750' job, caused upwards of $14,000 in damage. These are the types of shovel ready, or in this case screw ready, jobs Obama was talking about. If you are interested in getting some work done on your own vehicle, and you want that special, craftsman type look, be sure to check out iDesigns/Import Image. Favorite quote from the website:
"Our business strives to provide a service most auto body paint shops frown upon."
Namely using wood screws and ball-peen hammers to install urethane body panels.

If you'd like to laugh at someone else's tears and see more pictures of the car, you should go here.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Creamer; Another Obama Scandal?

0 Informed Opinions

What the hell sort of unholy furor would have been brought down upon the Bush Administration had they allowed a convicted felon into a state dinner?

Believe it or not, I do not own a TV. As such, I do not ever catch the Glenn Beck program. Hell, I have to drive across town to catch football at my Dad's place. That being said, I ran across this article at Big Government.
While in prison—or “forced sabbatical,” he called it—Creamer wrote a lengthy political manual, Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight! How Progressives Can Win (Seven Locks Press, 2007).

The book was endorsed by leading Democrats and their allies, including SEIU boss Andy Stern—the most frequent visitor thus far to the Obama White House—and chief Obama strategist David Axelrod, who noted that Creamer’s tome “provides a blueprint for future victories.”

In the book, Creamer draws lessons from decades of experience on the radical left, including the teachings of arch-radical Saul Alinsky, and several episodes from Rep. Schakowsky’s political career. He also lays out a “Progressive Agenda for Structural Change,” which includes a ten-point plan for foisting universal health care on the American people in 2009:

* “We must create a national consensus that health care is a right, not a commodity; and that government must guarantee that right.”
* “We must create a national consensus that the health care system is in crisis.”
* “Our messaging program over the next two years should focus heavily on reducing the credibility of the health insurance industry and focusing on the failure of private health insurance.”
* “We need to systematically forge relationships with large sectors of the business/employer community.”
* “We need to convince political leaders that they owe their elections, at least in part, to the groundswell of support of [sic] universal health care, and that they face political peril if they fail to deliver on universal health care in 2009.”
* “We need not agree in advance on the components of a plan, but we must foster a process that can ultimately yield consensus.”
* “Over the next two years, we must design and organize a massive national field program.”
* “We must focus especially on the mobilization of the labor movement and the faith community.”
* “We must systematically leverage the connections and resources of a massive array of institutions and organizations of all types.”
* “To be successful, we must put in place commitments for hundreds of millions of dollars to be used to finance paid communications and mobilization once the battle is joined.”

Creamer adds: “To win we must not just generate understanding, but emotion—fear, revulsion, anger, disgust.”

Republicans have recently been accused of all manner of naughty things, including but not limited to; being in the pocket of health insurance companies, being in the pocket of big tobacco, having happy feet in a Minneapolis men's bathroom stall. However, no one, at least to my memory, has ever accused the Republicans of having their proposed legislation written and proposed by a convicted felon.

The husband of an Illinois congresswoman pleaded guilty Wednesday to tax violations and bank fraud for writing rubber checks and failing to collect withholding tax from an employee.

Robert Creamer, a political consultant married to four-term U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, could face four years in prison on the two felony counts when he is sentenced Dec. 21.

Seriously, what else? What else can we possibly learn about this corrupt, illegal administration? Most recently it's been Spit or Swallow Jennings, and now this.

Keep an eye on this one, I suspect it's going to get much more interesting. Oh, and if you're interested in the Beck video, part one is here and part two is here.

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Remebering Pearl Though The Eyes of a Survivor

2 Informed Opinions

I realize this is late, so late, in fact, that it's no longer December 7th on the East Coast. My apologies for not doing my part and posting this last night. With the recent passing of my grandfather, the whole family has had occasion to reflect upon his life and his many stories. One of our favorite topics was his service in the United States Navy. You see, 68 years ago today, my grandfather was aboard the USS Lexington, CV-2, on maneuvers south of the islands when the Japanese attacked Pearl. Below, to the best of my ability, I'll recall the thoughts and memories of an American patriot and World War II hero.

My grandfather enlisted in the Navy in June of 1941. Having attended High School in Orange County, the family had to travel north to Los Angeles to get to the recruiting office. Once he signed up, my grandfather was sent to the US Naval Base at San Diego to undergo basic training. After completing basic, he was shipped to Pearl Harbor, the sweetest gig in the Armed Services at the time. It was believed that Pearl Harbor was the furthest one could be from the storm clouds of war that were billowing up on the European horizon. Everyone was willfully ignorant of the aggressive Japanese in the Pacific, believing that negotiations would be reached and that they would never attack the United States.

On December 5th, 1941, the USS Lexington and the other ships which made up Task Force 9, departed Pearl Harbor on a mission to resupply and reinforce the Pacific island of Midway. The trip was expected to be mostly uneventful until they were within range of the Midway. The Japanese were, to this point, only interested in the islands in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. None-the-less, men who worked the early watch on December 7th were uneasy as they'd overheard radio reports of suspicious behavior around the base. Rumors spread throughout the ship that a Japanese submarine had been sunk attempting to enter the harbor. What were the Japanese up to?

A mere 48 hours into their mission, just before 08:00 hours, general quarters was sounded and the entire task force was put on high alert. Word traveled quickly throughout the carrier, Pearl had been attacked by the Japs. The Lexington immediately launched several fighters and bombers to seek out the enemy carriers which had served as the launch platform for the most infamous attack on US soil to date. After hours of searching, in vain, the planes were recovered and the new orders came through. The Gray Lady and her task force were to meet up with the USS Enterprise to continue the search southwest of the main islands. The men aboard knew very well what their orders were, and all were anxious to find the enemy and to exact some revenge, but none could help but feel that they should be back at Pearl and should have been there to help defend her against that horrible attack. The Enterprise and the Lexington would spend nearly a week searching for the Japanese west of the islands as high command believed that the next step in the attack would be an attempt to occupy the islands.

On the morning of December 13th, 1941 the men of the USS Lexington and task force 9 saw for the first time with their own eyes the destruction the Japanese had wrought upon Pearl Harbor. Thick black smoke was visible for miles upon the horizon as the ships sailed ever closer to their home port. However, nothing could prepare them for the sight they were yet to behold. I remember Grandpa telling me as the ships pulled into the harbor, you could smell the burning oil and diesel fuel upon the air. He referred to it as the smell of death. Smoke still rose from the hulls of the Nevada, the Arizona, the Shaw and a few others. Salvage efforts were underway on most of the ships in the harbor, but rescue efforts had been called off days earlier. My Grandfather was an educated man, having received a Masters degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and yet for all his words, he could not find any to describe the utter devastation nor the emotion that he and his crew mates felt on that day. Ultimately the Lexington would deploy in a relief effort to the Wake Islands.

My Grandfather used to say, lamentfully, that he missed the Pearl Harbor attack by 3 days. On October 30, 2009, my Grandfather rejoined so many of his ship mates and the men he so proudly served beside in the United States Navy.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Remember With Me

6 Informed Opinions

I seem to recall a line from the Presidential campaign last year... Something to the effect of 'restoring science to it's rightful place.'

This must be what they meant, right?

What has been revealed here, along with the manufactured data and side-by-side with the destruction of original data, is that scientists are as human as any other person. Meaning, that scientists are subject to the same political and financial influences that any other person is. This is why it is so utterly and critically important that science is based upon actual scientific fact and not upon 'consensus.'

Definition time:

scientific fact - n: any observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and accepted as true; any scientific observation that has not been refuted

consensus - n: 1. majority of opinion. 2. general agreement or concord; harmony.

As I'm sure all of you have been reading my blog since the beginning of time or whenever I started blogging, there is no need for me to point out that I have been blogging about AGW for quite a while. None-the-less... Pay particular attention to the quote from Professor Ian Plimer in that last post. For you with little time or patience on your hands, here is the quote:

"I'm a natural scientist. I'm out there every day, buried up to my neck in sh**, collecting raw data. And that’s why I’m so sceptical of these models, which have nothing to do with science or empiricism but are about torturing the data till it finally confesses. None of them predicted this current period we’re in of global cooling. There is no problem with global warming. It stopped in 1998. The last two years of global cooling have erased nearly 30 years of temperature increase."

In the case of Climategate and until otherwise proven all global warming 'science,' 'torturing the data' would mean replacing data that does not support your theory with data that does, and then destroying the original data.

Most damning, however, has to be the fact that when confronted with the fact that the books had been cooked and these scientists had engaged in egregious behavior, other climatologists and AGW supporters failed to admit that they'd been caught in this circumstance and agreeing to dismiss the data from the University of East Anglia. Instead they are circling the wagons around the massive failure and continuing with outright denial and name calling.

UPDATE As Paul points out in the commments section, the IPCC wading deep in a cesspool of lies and fakery, says they stand firm next to the evidence

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Yes, I Know

7 Informed Opinions

Why the hell not?
It's been 3 years, 5 months 17 days, 9 hours, 15 minutes and 54 seconds since my last post. The good news is that nothing of any importance has happened since the last time I wrote. Not going to lie, it's been difficult to balance work, caring for my grandmother, redesigning my mother's guest bedroom, nursing shingles- oh yeah, and there's that whole work thing. But you're not here for excuses- unless you're a libtard, then that's all you understand.

While cruising the seedy underbelly of these here interwebbynets, I happened upon the dumbest person ever to access the web, other than Algore hisself, of course. I must warn you, however, if you spend more than 45 seconds on that user page, your brain will kick out your teeth, crawl out your mouth and down your shirt, then hop a bus for Venice Beach in search of some one smart to inhabit. Fair warning.

Big in the news, as of late, is the aptly named 'Climategate.' Revealed within the last few weeks were 'hacked' emails from the 'University' of East Anglia from top climate researchers disclosing that they manipulated data to support their theory that the earth is warming. Yes, not only did climate 'scientists' cook the books in order to support their lunatic theory, but they also destroyed the original data, leaving only their 'corrected' data. Fan-fucking-tastic. And in order to ensure that Democrats would retain their unchallenged crown as the king of fucking idiots, Babs Boxer suggested prosecuting the individual(s) that disclosed this highly inappropriate behavior. Brillaint!

Liberal logic: if an individual exposes damaging information about a conservative, tobacco company, car company, gun company, etc.; it's called 'whistle blowing.' If an individual exposes damaging information about a libtard, ACORN, SEIU, global warming, universal healthcare, etc.; it's called illegal. Got it?

Turns out PeeBo is also going to make an appearance at Dopenhagen for the Climate Summit to meet with other heads of state so that they can all pat themselves on the back for how far up their asses they've collectively kept their heads on the Climategate issue.

Also, PeeBo announced his new (read: a fucking year old) strategery in Afghanistan. It was announced in a speech at West Point, the enemy camp, after dragging his ass on the deal for nearly 4 months. You see, PeeBo had to wrestle with the strategery General McCrystal requested. This would be the same strategery that PeeBo laid out during the campaign, and shortly after taking office, in order to make sure that it was the right decision. He was quick to point out the cost in dollars of this decision to surge the number of troops in Afghanistan becuase $50 Billion is a hell of a lot, especially when compared to the meager $1,300,000,000,000 (thats trillion) he flushed down the toilet in the 'anti-stimulus' package earlier this year. Yes, you see, Barack is the most brilliant man ever to walk the planet. Thank God that when he was born of his virgin birth, he chose the lowly United States to grace with his presence.

Lastly, it turns out that according to Norah O'Donnell, (the fuck kind of name is Norah?) Rosie's retarded half sister, Sarah Palin fans are uninformed on news items. It seems that they are just to darned busy to read the newspaper for 30 minutes every day (yes this ancient troll-hag actually suggested that informed people read newspapers) and are therefore uninformed. As Paul points out these 'morons' are so uninformed that they are more knowledgeable on the Climategate Scandal than anyone at Ms.NBC, as the network has yet to report on the fraud committed there. As Paul says:
Norah O'Donell at MSNBC claims that Sarah Palin supporters do not have the 30 minutes needed to read the newspaper. But, oddly enough, Palin supporters know about the "scientific" fraud going on at the IPCC and East Anglia, despite it NOT being reported in the newspapers. Maybe they get their news from the very same mysterious force that keeps telling us that the economy is "recovering?" Contradiction? You decide.

Norah, sweetheart, retire mmkay?

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