Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. What, you thought they’d indict REAL bankers? LOL
John Aravosis with a great story about how Mitt Romney’s lower-middle-class home in Paris was actually a palace, and until recently was the home of the embassy for the United Arab Emirates:
To hear Mitt Romney tell it, his two and a half years as a Mormon missionary in France in the late 1960s were tough times. The places he was staying often had no working toilet, and certainly no baths or showers, he said just this past Sunday (in an effort to divert attention from the $10,000 bet he made Rick Perry). He lived, he said, just like lower-middle income Frenchmen lived.
The truth is slightly different. According to the Telegraph, for nearly a year during his time in France, Romney lived in a “palace” in Paris’ richest neighborhood, known as “the 16th.”
Although he spent time in other French cities, for most of 1968, Mr Romney lived in the Mission Home, a 19th century neoclassical building in the French capital’s chic 16th arrondissement. “It was a house built by and for rich people,” said Richard Anderson, the son of the mission president at the time of Mr Romney’s stay. “I would describe it as a palace”.
It had chandeliers, stained glass windows, its own art collection and servants. I found a photo of one of the windows, via the Mormon Paris mission’s Web site:
Until just recently the building housed the embassy of the United Arab Emirates, a government known for its impoverished lower-middle class lifestyle.
[…]Oh, but the Telegraph has more:
In his remarks this week, Mr Romney said of his French lodgings: “I don’t recall any of them having a refrigerator. We shopped before every meal”. Mr Anderson said that as well as a refrigerator, the mansion had “a Spanish chef called Pardo and a house boy, who prepared lunch and supper five days a week”.
The home in fact had several baths and showers.
You get the picture.
Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that Obama, if he signs what is being called the National Defense Authorization Act, “will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in U.S. law.” More here.
The unholy alliance between Congress and media corporations will most likely result in the passage of SOPA, and could mean the end of blogging as we know it:
Some of the original engineers of the Internet called Thursday for lawmakers to scrap anti-piracy bills, saying the proposals would pose major technological barriers for the Web and stifle new innovations.
The letter comes as House Judiciary committee members on Thursday debate the Stop Online Piracy Act introduced by Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) that has drawn impassioned support from media firms but opposition by Web firms and some public interest groups.
At the hearing, California Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D) and Darrell Issa (R) have asked the committee to reconsider the bill and amendments to it in a hearing.
But many lawmakers of both parties are in support of the legislation.
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I wonder who’s behind this? Via Cannonfire, some very intriguing news:
Someone has paid for a poll designed to see if there is any enthusiasm for a Jeb Bush run against Barack Obama in 2012.
After all, it would be too late for Bush to enter the race, right? Everyone has been told that the field is set. And indeed, in several primary states qualifying has closed. But New Hampshire allows voters to write-in any name they choose. And most party caucuses either don’t have a ballot or have a pretty open write-in policy. Don’t forget, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. won a surprise write-in victory in New Hampshire without ever declaring himself a candidate for President in 1964.
There is still time. In fact, if Jeb was interested in seeking the party’s nomination, this might be his smoothest path to victory.
I can see why some in the GOP leadership might be intrigued by this idea. The base simply does not care for Romney. Newt probably can’t win in the general. Ron Paul is a sincere libertarian — no TARP for him, thank you — and thus will never be allowed to get near the nomination.
The Bush name appeals to the Tea Party cranks and to the Establishment — in other words, to the third of the country who remained stalwart Dubya supporters to the very end. However, I don’t think the name has much appeal to anyone outside that 33 percent.
Jeb’s spokesperson has denied that he has anything to do with the poll. However, there was a Florida poll in April matching Obama against Jeb Bush. Bush won handily, and even attracted a surprising amount of Democratic support.
This is simply horrifying. And you’ll notice the real culprits:
The facility, which has been under construction since 1996, was meant to cost about $300m.
But the bill soared to $3.1bn after construction problems and a series of bond and derivatives deals that went sour in the financial meltdown of 2008.
Investment bank JP Morgan Securities and two of its former directors have been fined for offering bribes to Jefferson County workers and politicians to win business financing the sewer upgrade.
Six of Jefferson County’s former commissioners have been found guilty of corruption for accepting the bribes, along with 15 other officials.
Harper’s publisher John MacArthur on Obama:
By now it should be obvious that the system, and the Democratic Party, run Obama, not the other way around. Under this arrangement, the president carries out his duties as pre-eminent party functionary — fundraising being at the top of his list of responsibilities — and defers on legislation, leaving it to corrupt Democratic barons such as Sen. Max Baucus (D.-Mont.), devoted friend of the insurance, pharmaceutical, and banking crowd and sworn enemy of reform.
As Ron Suskind’s book “Confidence Men” confirms, there was never any question of doing things differently. Describing the then president-elect’s choice of economic advisers, he notes, “Obama, after all, had selected for his top domestic officials two men [Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner] whose actions [in the Clinton Administration] had contributed to the very financial disaster they were hired to solve.” These anti-reform appointments did not go unnoticed by party regulars, even though they were ignored by Obama groupies. “I don’t understand how you could do this,” Suskind quotes Sen. Byron Dorgan (D.- N.D.) saying to Obama. “You’ve picked the wrong people!”
The “wrong people” included Rahm Emanuel, now mayor of Chicago, and his replacement as White House chief of staff, William Daley; both of these advisers were four-star generals within the Chicago Democratic machine who cut their teeth in Washington during the campaign to pass that job-killer North American Free Trade Act and who later worked for investment banks. But Obama’s hypocrisy in Osawatomie, Kan., set a new standard in deception. Among other things, his speech blamed “regulators who were supposed to warn us about the dangers of all this [the unfettered sales of bundled mortgages], but looked the other way or didn’t have the authority to look at all. It was wrong. It combined the breathtaking greed of a few with irresponsibility all across the system.”
What’s truly breathtaking is the president’s gall, his stunning contempt for political history and contemporary reality. Besides neglecting to mention Democratic complicity in the debacle of 2008, he failed to point out that derivatives trading remains largely unregulated while the Securities and Exchange Commission awaits “public comment on a detailed implementation plan” for future regulation. In other words, until the banking and brokerage lobbies have had their say with John Boehner, Max Baucus, and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner. Meanwhile, the administration steadfastly opposes a restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, the New Deal law that reduced outlandish speculation by separating commercial and investment banks. In 1999, it was Summers and Geithner, led by Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin (much admired by Obama), who persuaded Congress to repeal this crucial impediment to Wall Street recklessness.
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