2×4 Chuck Schumer And The Mosque Of Doom

Senator Chuck Schumer (‘hit Hillary with a 2×4 Barack, but don’t let anybody know I said so because I’m pretending to be her supporter’) can still be taken down in New York. The Republicans are running non-entities against Schumer. But Schumer is vulnerable. The ground zero Mosque makes 2×4 Schumer vulnerable.

The usually voluble Anthony Weiner, Chuckie Schumer’s replacement in Congress, after Schumer became a Senator, knows this is a killer issue. Jewish Weiner just married Muslim Huma Abedin (an aide to Hillary Clinton). Anthony Weiner, who cannot be credibly accused of anti-Muslim bias, won’t take a position on the building of a Mosque/community center at ground zero. Both Weiner and 2×4 Schumer refuse to discuss the Mosque at the 9/11 site of doom for thousands of Americans. Both Weiner and 2×4 Schumer refuse to discuss the Mosque which spells doom for political careers.

Both Weiner and 2×4 Schumer have taken to talking tough on 9/11 and tangentially related “Muslim” type issues. For Weiner, it is his recent explosion about health benefits for workers at the 9/11 site. For 2×4 Schumer it is lots of noise but little action on the Lockerbie bomber. But these discussions are distractions to avoid the central issue – the Mosque of Doom.

* * * * * *

Weiner knows what 2×4 Schumer knows: the Mosque of Doom is an issue that is a lose/lose (we’re not the only ones who have noted the silence on the Mosque of Doom). Most New Yorkers oppose the building of the Mosque of Doom. Most of the New York phony liberals are for the Mosque of Doom and will attack anyone who opposes the Mosque of Doom as some kind of religious bigot or “racist”. The New York Times editorial page will attack 2×4 Schumer if Schumer sides with average New Yorkers and opposes the Mosque of Doom. But New Yorkers oppose the Mosque of Doom. 2×4 Schumer must be forced to side with either the New York Times or the people of New York State.

The most 2×4 Schumer has said, through a spokesman, is that he does not oppose the plan to build the Mosque of Doom.

Thomas Friedman, in an echo of Andrew Sullivan, wants the Mosque of Doom built to show the world how tolerant we are. When Andrew Sullivan made his argument that the election of Barack Obama would elicit shock, awe, and respect for Americans from the Muslim world and potential jihadists, we laughed at the sheer stupidity of that proposition. Tom Friedman displays a similar ignorance of the difference between good Muslims and the organized many who simply want to kill the West and Americans in particular. Friedman at least acknowledges that if it was up to him an interfaith center would be built in intolerant Saudi Arabia.

The idea that Americans have to display tolerance is laughable. It is those who intend to impose their will, their Mosque, who need to display understanding and tolerance:

“In his passionate defenses of the planned mosque near Ground Zero, Mayor Bloomberg depicts the issue as a simple case of freedom of religion.

“People have a right to pray, and I think, you know, we have a quarter of a million Muslims that live In this city . . . These are our citizens and they have a right to have their own place of worship,” he said on the John Gambling radio show last week.[snip]

The mayor certainly has a point — up to a point. All Americans, including Muslims, must enjoy freedom of religion, a bedrock principle of our nation. Yet the argument alone is insufficient to the case at hand, and insulting to those who prefer facts to a lecture. [snip]

There are already numerous mosques In New York, and others are planned, so there is no threat to Muslims’ religious freedom here. With no suggestion it be taken away, the mayor’s passion is directed at a straw man.[snip]

Let’s put the burden where it belongs — on the promoters and their supporters. They need to be more open about their plans, their financing and, most important, about why they insist on a mosque so close to American hallowed ground.

So far, they have failed those tests. They haven’t tried very hard to win over skeptics or answer the obvious questions.

The burden is not on this nation to prove its openness to Arabs and Muslims. They enjoy more freedom In America than In any Islamic country.

Even on the bedrock measurement of simple tolerance, New York cannot be faulted, given how the city never developed a vengeful attitude toward the faith or nationalities of those who carried out the 9/11 attacks.

The point, then, is not to shut down those who are offended by the mosque plan, as are some 9/11 families. Nor is it enough to label as bigots those who are merely unsure of whether the plan is a good one.[snip]

The sponsors and their supporters are not stepping forward In the ways I believed they would and should.

For example, almost nothing is known about where the $100 million to build the mosque would come from. The source is not incidental, given that some Islamic sects are hostile to nonbelievers.

That’s just one of many questions that deserve an answer. If the sponsors have nothing to hide and want to be good neighbors, they should make the extra effort to clear the air.

Until they do, they don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.”

There are some good Muslims who understand the provocation which is the Mosque of Doom. After the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted against landmark status for the building which is to be replaced by the Mosque of Doom, Hussein Rashid asked questions:

“There is some ambivalence within the community,” said Hussein Rashid, a visiting professor of religious studies at Hofstra University who specializes in Islam in America. “We still want to know who is going to be involved in this. So far, we have heard from just a few Muslim voices. If this is meant to be a community center, who in the community will be involved?”

Bill Doyle who lost his 25 year-old son on 9/11 noted that the 9/11 memorial will be below street level and that the 13 story Mosque will tower over the alleged memorial.

The Republican’s vying to be the nominee against 2×4 Schumer know the Mosque of Doom will be a major issue in November.

“It was probably inevitable, but the planned Ground Zero mosque is now becoming a full-fledged campaign issue – just days after a Quinnipiac poll revealed that most New Yorkers are opposed to it.

The first to seize it as a campaign issue was Jay Townsend, one of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s two GOP challengers who has virtually no name recognition, but who last week put out a release denouncing the sitting senator for not taking a stand on the issue.”

Contrary to conventional JournoList type opinion, the Mosque of Doom issue will loom larger in the general election than in the primary. Most Republican nominees and incumbents will oppose the Mosque of Doom so it will be difficult to gain traction on the issue during the primary season. But in the general election the Republican will oppose the Mosque of Doom and 2×4 Schumer will try to distract from the issue.

2×4 Schumer must be made to take a position on the Mosque of Doom on primary election night in September. The Anti-Defamation League, which opposes the Mosque of Doom must join with 9/11 families and demand 2×4 Schumer declare which side he is on.

Yesterday Charles Krauthammer joined many others and echoed what we wrote in May of this year:

“When Catholics wanted to build a Carmelite convent at the death camp in Auchwitz-Birkenau there were protests. The Vatican wisely relocated the convent in order to maintain good relations with the Jewish community. There was controversy over the role of the Vatican and the Catholic Church during World War II and the possible complicity with the Third Reich in the attempted extermination of the Jews. But now, families of September 11 victims are supposed to acquiesce in what appears to be a triumphalist massive Mosque right next to the World Trade Center where thousands perished in a radical Islamic attack. The massive Mosque is scheduled to open on September 11, 2011. Republicans are rightly making this an issue in this year’s elections. [snip]

When will Chuck Schumer be asked questions about the building of this triumphalist Mosque?

Back in May plenty of questions about the Muslim behind the Mosque of Doom were asked. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a questionable character but Americans are supposed to accept his good will intentions even as many are offended by the arrogance of this Imam. You do not slap people into a meaningful dialogue. You do not beat up people, call them bigots, denounce them as intolerant – all in the name of tolerance.

If Imam Rauf wants a respectful dialogue he must be respectful. If Imam Rauf wants to build interfaith understanding, a large donation from the Muslim community towards the World Trade Center memorial would be more effective. But instead Imam Rauf wants to build a towering presence right over the sunken, below ground, World Trade Center memorial site. This more than smacks of triumphalism.

Sarah Palin addressed the issue of where the tolerance should come from:

“Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand. Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in the interest of healing,” the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate tweeted on Sunday.

In another message, she wrote, “Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real.”

The Mosque of Doom is not an extended hand of peace. It is a provocation or at the very least gives rise to the fear that it is a provocation:

“Though the Cordoba initiative is under no obligation to do so, if its purpose is to battle extremism within Islam and build cooperation with other faiths, why not divulge the funders of the project? Why not unconditionally condemn Islamist terrorism?

Neither has happened.

Then again, even if we were boundlessly tolerant, there is an inescapable fact: This 13-story community center is going to be built two blocks from the worst modern atrocity committed in the name of Islam.

Not only is such a project in poor taste, for many Americans it confirms their concerns about Islam’s provocative nature.

How that helps interfaith dialogue remains a mystery.”

Obama and his JournoList storm troopers successfully tamped down discussion of the Barack Obama 20 year plus mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s bigotry. Obama gave a “race speech” which did not answer any questions about his own history and knowledge of Jeremiah Wright’s hatefulness. Now Obama wants to evade any responsibility on the Mosque of Doom. Obama will likely succeed in this bamboozlement this year but not in 2012. 2×4 Schumer must be held to account this year, this November.

Those who support the Mosque of Doom out of good “tolerance” based perspectives must understand that tolerance is a two way street.

“Those who are fighting the project argue that building a house of Muslim worship so close to ground zero is at best an affront to the families of those who died there and at worst an act of aggression that would, they say, mark the place where radical Islam achieved a blow against the United States. [snip]

Those who support it seem mystified and flustered by the heated opposition. They contend that the project, with an estimated cost of $100 million, is intended to span the divide between Muslim and non-Muslim, not widen it.

Oz Sultan, the programming director for the center, said the complex was based on Jewish community centers and Y.M.C.A.’s in Manhattan. It is to have a board composed of Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders and is intended to create a national model of moderate Islam.

We are looking to build bridges between faiths,” Mr. Sultan said in an interview.

City officials, particularly Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, have forcefully defended the project on the grounds of religious freedom, saying that government has no place dictating where a house of worship is located.[snip]

Still, the arguments against the Muslim center appear to be resonating. Polling shows that a majority of Americans oppose building it near ground zero.”

What side is 2×4 Schumer on in this issue? Is Schumer still on the side of those who yell “racist” or “bigot” at every turn? Or is 2×4 Schumer on the side of understanding and tolerance? Is 2×4 Schumer on the side of Hamas and Hezbollah, or is 2×4 Schumer on the side of Muslim-American Zuhdi Jasser?:

“In the 1960s, my parents left their despotic motherland of Syria for the promise of genuine liberty and religious freedom in America. In the decades since, we have led the construction of a number of mosques in the towns where we lived.

Some went up without challenge from the local community, but others met with palpable local discontent. In those cases, the law and the natural American affinity for religious freedom eventually paved the way to the ribbon cutting.

These were all humble mosques, funded locally by our congregations. It’s plain the planned “Ground Zero mosque” is something very different. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, his wife, Daisy Khan, and an investor intend to build “Cordoba House,” an ostentatious $100 million, 13-story Muslim community center including a gym, a swimming pool, a performance-arts facility and a mosque.

My first concern is whether the financing truly represents the local American Muslim community or comes with strings from foreign Islamists. But that is far from my last concern.”

Is 2×4 Schumer on the side of political and radical Islam – which will rejoice at the construction of a looming Mosque of Doom at the World Trade Center site? Or is 2×4 Schumer on the side against global Islamist terror?:

I am an American Muslim dedicated to defeating the ideology that fuels global Islamist terror — political Islam. And I don’t see such a “center” actually fighting terrorism or being a very “positive” addition near Ground Zero, no matter how well intentioned.

To put it bluntly, Ground Zero is the one place in America where Muslims should think less about teaching Islam and “our good side” and more about being American and fulfilling our responsibilities to confront the ideology of our enemies.

Khan and Rauf avoid discourse on reform and political Islam. Instead, they simply give us the familiar, too vague condemnation of “extremism and violence.” They seem to conveniently view 9/11, al Qaeda and every manifestation of militant Islamism as simply a public-relations problem for “Muslims in the West.” Imam Rauf has even gone so far as to bizarrely say that the 9/11 terrorists were “not Muslims.”

Is 2×4 Schumer on the “God Damn America” side? Or is 2×4 Schumer on the side of freedom and the core Democratic values and the core values of the West?

“This is not about the building of a mosque or a religious facility. It is not about religious freedom. This is about a deep, soulful understanding of what happened to our country on 9/11.

When Americans are attacked, they come together as one, under one flag, under one law against a common enemy that we are not afraid to identify. Religious freedom is central to our nation – and that is why the location of this project is so misguided. Ground Zero is purely about being American. It can never be about being Muslim.

The World Trade Center site represents Ground Zero in America’s war against radical Islamists who seek to destroy the American way of life. It is not ground zero of a cultural exchange.”

Is 2×4 Schumer on the side of Caliphate Islam? Or is 2×4 Schumer on the side of American Muslims, and Jews, and Christians, and Atheists, and Buddhists, and Sikhs, and Hindus, and other belief systems which preach peace and love, not hate and destruction?”

“We American Muslims cannot merely passively avoid Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots. We need to ask ourselves: Are we Americans who happen to be Muslim or Muslims blindly demanding to be American?

American Muslims will be better served if this project is built further away from Ground Zero and focuses on leading a reform effort. If we help build anything at the WTC site itself, it should be timeless memorials to all those who lost their lives on 9/11 — memorials blind to faith, race, creed or national origin.

On Sept. 12, 2001, I was first an American. When those planes hit the World Trade Center, they hit at the core of my being as an American. The attack on my faith by the terrorists was secondary to their attack on my homeland.

We need to focus our efforts more transparently on teaching Muslim youth that the American concepts of liberty and freedom are preferable to sharia and the Islamic state. American Muslims represent the best opportunity to fight Islamist radicalization not because we understand Islam but because we have experienced and understood what American liberty provides to the Muslim experience.[snip]

This center is trying to change the narrative of 9/11 — to diminish what happened at Ground Zero.”

This November 2×4 Chuck Schumer must be held to account. It’s time for 2×4 Schumer to enter the Mosque of Doom, or lead New Yorkers with a clear, unequivocal voice of opposition to the construction of the Mosque of Doom.

2×4 Chuck Schumer must declare whether he supports construction of a mosque which will tower over the sunken, below street level memorial at ground zero. Chuck Schumer must declare, before November, whether he is on the side of those doomed by the attacks on that September 11 of 2001.

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162 thoughts on “2×4 Chuck Schumer And The Mosque Of Doom

  1. #
    moononpluto
    August 4th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    #
    Shadowfax
    August 4th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    #
    moononpluto
    August 4th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    My theory is there is not much of a marriage there, she’s basically window dressing.

    ———-
    I could say something about the qualifications of being a window dressing…….but I won’t. 😆
    ……………..

    you mean looking like a set of badly dressed curtains most of the time………..

  2. This is hands-down the best essay I have read about why building a mosque at the doorstep of the WTC is such and affront to Americans.

    Stunning, precise and easy to read.

    On another note,

    Anyone else notice the virtual media blackout on the amount of money MO must be costing the taxpayers at her luxurious 30-room Spanish hideaway?

    I’ll bet it’s a heck-of-a-sight more than whatever the Clinton’s spent on Chelsea’s privately-financed wedding.

    Disgusting.

  3. Excellent article, admin.

    Can someone tell me why this location? Of all the places this mosque could be built, why in a place that holds so much tragedy and memory for Americans?

    And why is the U.S. government standing by and letting this atrocity take place?

  4. This is beyond ridiculous. Where is the outrage from the media and the rest of the world?

    Oh I forgot. Israel was in the right this time so it doesn’t matter.

    —————–

    IDF: Journalists were tipped off

    Presence of cameramen, journalists at site of deadly clash proves it was planned ambush, IDF says

    Journalists and photographers were briefed in advance of the intention to ambush IDF troops and were therefore present at the site of Tuesday’s deadly clash between Israeli and Lebanese forces, IDF officials charge.

    The lethal skirmish ensued after IDF forces performing routine operations in a border-area enclave came under Lebanese fire. The Israeli troops fired back, killing three Lebanese soldiers and a local journalist.

    The killed correspondent, Assaf Abu Rahal, worked for Hezbollah-affiliated Beirut daily al-Akhbar.

    Another journalist, Ali Shuaib from Hezbollah’s al-Manar station, was wounded in the incident and was taken to hospital for treatment.

    IDF officials raised questions about the presence of journalists and even broadcast trucks at the scene even before the clash ensued, charging this further reinforces suspicions that the incident was a well-planned Lebanese ambush.

    “If this incident was not planned in advance, why did field commanders in the Lebanese army bother to dispatch journalists to the area and ensure that cameras were present at the site?” one IDF official said.

    According to earlier reports, UNIFIL forces who toured the site of Tuesday’s deadly exchanges of fire on the northern border said the IDF’s activity did not warrant the attack launched by Lebanese Army soldiers, Israeli army officials who spoke to UNIFIL representatives said.

    According to the IDF, soldiers were performing routine operations in a border-area enclave within Israeli territory when they were ambushed by Lebanese troops.

    http://www.worldjewishdaily.com/toolbar.html?4t=extlink&4u=http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3929941,00.html

  5. Excellent article Admin…and as an answer to your questions JanH…Obama. This would not have happened on Hillary’s watch

  6. Admin; Great and informative article….I wonder why these dems won’t say no to the Mosque of Doom…ever think that maybe these are the very same muslims that gave Obama enought money to get elected??? Maybe they are the money the dems??? Well if the other dems like Weiner and Schumer don’t want to out the President on this…they all need to go…we will just have to teach the rethugs to take care of the middle class better…at least we maybe would have something to work with…the dems have turned into Osama bin Laden!

  7. I even think I heard Hillary say that it wasn’t right to put the mosque there…not sure though. Why is it so important to have it right there…is there not a different place in Manhatten to have the mosque??? DOes Manhatten have a mosque already???

  8. Great article, Admin, as always. However, I still disagree with the use of “2 x 4 Schumer.” One of the attractions of this site is the credible sourcing. “Game Change,” the source of the 2×4 comment, is poorly-sourced and/or unsourced, and shouldn’t be cherry-picked for alleged quotes. As I’ve commented before, I’m not defending Schumer and it wouldn’t surprise me if he did make that comment, but I’d prefer some reliable confirmation. Having said that, I will admit that “2×4 Schumer” has a nice ring to it; let’s just make sure he really said it. Other than that, the usual excellent article.

  9. Fantastic, fantastic article….glad you included Tom Freidman ..he has lost touch with reality over the past decade and his hubris is second only to uhh…Obama.

  10. If I lived in New York, I would risk going to jail to wait for the mosque of doom to be built, sneak up to the rooftop with a couple pails of pain and a flash light, and paint one BIG FREAKIN’ TARGET ON THE ROOF.

  11. Confloyd – I believe I read there are 13 other Mosques in NYC Proper. I do not have a link. It may have been on the radio. As someone who worked with the American Red Cross in the immediate aftermath of the WTC massacre, this whole thing horrifies me. That there are not “Good Muslims” standing up with more reasonable voices is also disturbing. It is a fact that Political Islam has a goal to have all nations, and in particular, those in the West succumb to their demands. Look at what has happened across France, Great Britain and many other countries in Europe. The goal is NOT to integrate into the society but to make it bob and weave to accommodate the demands of Political Islamic Law. The Mosque of Doom is just one more nail in our own coffin.

    While I agree completely America was founded with the Freedom of religion as a basic right, the United States was not founded to let OTHERS tie our hands with our own Constitution when we are under attack by an enemy. And Political Islam IS an enemy. What’s next? Sharia in the courts, as it is now in England? The answer is definitely a resounding “yes.”

  12. The building of new places of worship in NYC are often controversial due to their tax exempt status. Korean-American churches have had many battles when they wanted to move into a community due to the tax issues and traffic issues and noise issues. Nothing to do with religious bigotry.

    As to how many mosques in NYC, IslamOnLine answers the question (along with torpedoing the propaganda about the ground zero mosque being a “community center” for all. According to the below, the Ummah, is a community of Muslims not other faiths or the general community):

    http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&pagename=Zone-English-ArtCulture/ACELayout&cid=1158658279073

    The corner of 96th Street and 3rd Avenue on the Upper East side of Manhattan hosts an architectural and religious icon that has grown from a beacon for Muslim New Yorkers to a symbol of the proud, peaceful and friendly nature of Islam in a city still somewhat wary women in a scarves or mean wearing beards. The Islamic Cultural Center, with it’s smooth dome, delicate minarets and sleek, modern design marries old with new, a fitting emblem of what New York City has become.

    But the Center, which often figures largely in any news or photographic piece, is one of many mosques in the city – some street front types hidden between New York delis and discount clothing stores; others beautiful, inspirational edifices that seem to strongly declare: “Come in and worship Allah here.” The mosques of this diverse city rarely receive any attention for their sheer numbers and variety of architectural designs, which add a unique character to the history of New York City scenery.

    Now a new book boldly ventures to grasp the transformation of New York mosques from the mere eight or nine spread out among the five boroughs in the early 1990s to the more than 90 here today. New York Masjid: The Mosques of New York City by Jerrilynn D. Dodds and Edward Grazda is a thorough, intelligent photographical and written study of New York’s mosques from an architectural standpoint. [snip]

    There are nearly 800,000 Muslims in New York City, Dodds writes, with numerous mosques spread throughout the boroughs: 28 in Queens, 27 in Brooklyn, nearly 20 in Manhattan and in the Bronx and at least 8 in Staten Island. Most mosques are converted stores and buildings. The first newly built mosque – Masjid Alfalah -led to the construction of the “grand, visible” Islamic Culture Center.[snip]

    The mosque itself is more than a building, Dodds says, as it composes an “Islamic community, the Ummah, and the functions that nurture and support it.” Only in the architectural world, which is where the book constrains itself, can mosques be discussed as buildings.

    It’s refreshing, in a way, to have a non-Muslim scrutinize the functions of a mosque, from being just a prayer hall to a community center, to the separation of sexes and why that’s so, the restriction of images and the importance of a Qibla (the geographical direction of prayer). Dodds eliminates eschews emotion in her analysis and focuses on how a mosque becomes a mosque, and how New York mosques are a vital part of the city.

  13. Three years ago I ran this info on BO’s god-father Tony Rezko.Well he is back in todays news on the corruption and appointees that he has in his close circle of henchmen makes this news very troubling.My apologies for the length of this comment but we must pursue the case for the impeachment that must take place.

    Barack Obama: Operation
    Board Games For Slumlords

    By Evelyn Pringle

    07 April, 2008
    Countercurrents.org

    Barack Obama has a long history of working with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and governors of Illinois, including the current Governor Rod Blagojevich, in doling government funding for housing development in Chicago. His history is hardly a model of success, except for the hundred of millions in profits made by the chosen few slumlords.

    Less than a year ago, in the April 26, 2007 Chicago Sun-Times, Fran Spielman reported that Chicago aldermen were accusing the Daley administration “of being asleep at the switch while low-income housing projects developed by the now-indicted Tony Rezko collapsed into disrepair.”

    “The spigot of loans, grants and tax credits should have been cut off when the first of 30 taxpayer-supported Rezko buildings in Chicago fell into disrepair, the aldermen said,” according to the report.

    Instead, Spielman said, a “Sun-Times investigation showed that the city, state and federal governments kept the gravy train rolling — to the tune of $100 million between 1989 and 1998.”

    The lending continued, the Times noted, even as the city repeatedly sued Rezko’s development company, Rezmar, “for such basics as no heat.”

    “They were going after people for being slum landlords in one department and loaning them money in another,” said Alderman Freddrenna Lyle.

    Obama now wants to bring this dog and pony show to Washington. I can see it now. His former boss, Allison Davis, at the Davis, Miner & Barnhill law firm, that served as a hub for Rezko’s thriving slumlord business for a decade before Davis quit and became partners with Rezko, will be appointed to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Davis and his partners, which include his sons Jared and Cullen, have received more than $100 million in taxpayer subsidies to build and rehab apartments and homes over the past 10 years and have made at least $4 million in development fees, according to the Times.

    “Davis has gotten deal after deal from the mayor, helping to make Davis one of the city’s top developers,” Tim Novak noted in the November 7, 2007 Sun-Times.

    There’s already a plan in place to guarantee that the Chicago model of “community development” is carried out in the White House. In his Plan to Fight Poverty in America, Obama says, “we should create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to develop affordable housing in mixed-income neighborhoods.”

    The Plan will create a “White House Office of Urban Policy” to develop a strategy for metropolitan America, and Obama will appoint a Director of Urban Policy who will report directly to him, as president, to “coordinate all federal urban programs,” the Plan states.

    Mayor Daley will probably be hired for this gig. The Plan explains that Obama will task his new Director “to work across federal agencies and with community and business leaders to identify and address the unique economic development barriers of every major metropolitan area in the country.”

    While climbing the political ladder, Obama held himself out to be a champion of rights for minority-owned businesses. According to an article on Black Enterprize.com, “it is Obama’s strong record when it comes to supporting minority-owned businesses that has black business leaders working overtime to send the 42-year-old congressman to Washington.”

    However, an example of the Chicago version of a minority-owned business is DV Urban Realty Partners, where Allison Davis, who is an African-American millionaire many times over, owns 51%, and Robert Vanecko, Mayor Daley’s nephew, owns 49%.

    On July 18, 2007, Obama discussed his plan to deal with urban poverty in a speech at the Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Center in Washington and started out by tugging the heart strings by invoking the name of Bobby Kennedy and stated:

    “It’s been four decades since Bobby Kennedy crouched in a shack along the Mississippi Delta and looked into the wide, listless eyes of a hungry child. Again and again he tried to talk to this child, but each time his efforts were met with only a blank stare of desperation.

    “And when Kennedy turned to the reporters traveling with him, with tears in his eyes he asked a single question about poverty in America: ‘How can a country like this allow it?’”

    “Forty years later,” Obama said, “we’re still asking that question.”

    First of all, “Barack Obama, you are no Robert Kennedy,” and we’re still asking the question because the careers of politicians like Obama are funded by a political mafia which has turned helping the poor into a cottage industry.

    During his speech, Obama himself spelled out why low-income housing developers get away with funneling tax dollars through poor people in cities like Chicago without drawing any scrutiny, when he stated:

    “These Americans cannot hire lobbyists to roam the halls of Congress on their behalf, and they cannot write thousand-dollar campaign checks to make their voices heard. They suffer most from a politics that has been tipped in favor of those with the most money, and influence, and power.”

    In Obama’s case, a whole gang of slumlords in Illinois made their “voices heard” by writing campaign checks to fund his rise to fame. But as long as the focus of the slumlord allegations remains solely on a crook named Rezko, the other members of the gang will not get the credit they deserve.

    One fact is beyond dispute. Without the fundraising of his political Godfather, Rezko, Obama’s rise to power would not have occurred. However, Rezko was not the pied piper of Hamlin who led Illinois politicians astray. It’s the other way around. Without the cooperation of the corrupt government officials, Rezko would not have been able to fund their political campaigns.

    In Illinois, favored politicians are joined at the hip when it comes to fundraising. For instance, from 1999 through 2006, an analysis by the Chicago Tribune shows Obama took in more than $1.5 million from some 700 people who also contributed to Mayor Daley during his political career.

    A cursory review of Illinois campaign records shows Allison Davis and his family members giving close to $16,000 to Obama’s presidential campaign. The Sun-Times reports that Davis has donated more than $400,000 to dozens of political campaigns, and the top beneficiaries include Mayor Daley, Blagojevich and Obama.

    The truth about all the scams run by the political mafia operating in Illinois is only coming out now because of Rezko’s corruption trial, and if the Democrats want to lose any chance of winning the White House, all they have to do is nominate Obama.

    This case is only the first of what could be many to go to trial. Other criminal charges are pending against several people listed in the indictment, and civil lawsuits have been filed against many of the same people and are awaiting the outcome of the criminal cases.

    If Obama had an ounce of respect for Democratic voters, he’d drop out of the race before the details of the corruption in Illinois spread to the rest of the country. If the leaders of the Democratic party had a lick of sense, they would inform Obama right now that under no circumstances will his name be on the ballot come fall.

    Political junkies know the details of all the sordid scandals swirling around Obama in Chicago, but the average American voter does not have a clue.

    The prosecution team is led by the US Attorney for Northern Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, of Scooter Libby fame; the same guy who put the last Illinois Governor behind bars and convicted a host of government officials from the Daley administrations who were involved in what prosecutors called “pervasive fraud” to rig city hiring for 12 years with persons who got out the vote for Mayor Daley, and the candidates he endorsed, as well as numerous crooks rounded up during the scandal involving Daley’s Hired Truck program.

    The list of names in the indictment includes about eight persons referred to as “Co-Schemers,” and reads like a “who’s who list” of major campaign donors to Obama, Blagojevich, Daley and other powerful Illinois politicians.

    Blagojevich is referred to as “Public Official A,” Obama is referred to as a “political candidate,” and there is a list of “Individuals” from “Individual A” all the way up to “Individual HH.”

    By now, everybody following the case knows the names of the “Co-Schemers” and “Individuals”, and the Republicans can use the court filings as a roadmap for their plan of attack on Obama. In fact, they are probably editing their talking points for cable news shows as we speak. They no doubt already have video clips in the can of every failed low-income housing project in Chicago connected to Obama to splash across the airwaves the minute he is nominated.

    In addition, the Chicago Tribune has two ace reporters, Bob Secter and Jeff Coen, stationed at the courthouse, who provide a daily blog called “Gavel-to-Gavel” on the Tribune website which gives a blow-by-blow account of the live testimony in the trial every few hours.

    The names of corrupt politicians and power brokers from both the Democratic and Republican parties are being dropped before the jury like flies. Many of the witnesses, including the main co-defendant, Chicago businessman Stuart Levine, have already pleaded guilty and are testifying under grants of immunity in hope of getting a lighter sentence, which means they have everything to gain by testifying about the other crooks.

    Although the Tribune’s Gavel-to-Gavel coverage is just as good as having a front-row seat in the courtroom, the Obama camp apparently feels the need to monitor the trial first-hand. On March 14, 2008, during an interview with the Sun-Times, a reporter said to Obama: “You have somebody in the courtroom to monitor the trial, right?”

    “We may,” he replied, “I think that may be true.”

    The case involves the corruption of two state regulatory boards. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Board Games,” by the Feds, began in December 2003, based on information supplied by an informant. Its now obvious that Rezko was aware of the investigation as early as 2004, because during a January 16, 2007, court hearing his attorney, Joe Duffy, told US District Judge Amy St Eve that he was hired in 2004.

    “And my guess is you hired Mr. Duffy to deal with the Feds?” the judge said to Rezko, and Rezko replied, “Yes, your Honor.”

    The first board controls the Teachers Pension System, which administers pensions and benefits for all Illinois teachers except for those in Chicago, and the Health Facilities Planning Board, which approves all proposals for construction projects that involve medical facilities in Illinois.

    The Teacher’s Pension fund has over $30 billion in assets. Investment firms that want to do business with the fund submit proposals, and the board votes on whether to approve the proposal. Some members of the board are elected by teachers in the state, others are appointed by the governor and others serve by virtue of their state office such as the school superintendent.

    On Blagojevich took office, the Schemers were able to stack the TRS board with members who would vote whichever way they were told. Once they accomplished that feat, they demanded kickbacks from investment firms in exchange for the approval of their proposals.

    Rezko’s partner in the Rezmar development company, Daniel Mahru, is referred to as “Individual Z” in the indictment, and according to court filings, Rezko told Mahru that “$500 million” of TRS money was earmarked for their company. Mahru is reportedly cooperating with federal investigators.

    In addition to lining their own pockets, the money gained through the scheme was funneled to the campaigns of Blagojevich and Obama. Prosecutors have identified two $10,000 payments that were made to Obama’s US Senate campaign through straw donors Joseph Aramanda and Elie Maloof, which originated from a kickback paid by investment firm, Glencoe Capital, to secure approval for a $50 million deal.

    Aramanda and Maloof also each gave Obama $1,000 for his failed run for Congress in 2000. Once Obama became a US Senator, Aramanda’s son was granted a coveted intern position in Obama’s Senate office in Washington during the summer of 2005, based on a request which the Obama’s camp has admitted came from Rezko.

    Levine was appointed to the TRS Board in 2000, by Republican Governor George Ryan and was reappointed in 2003 by Blagojevich. As part of the team led by Levine to rig the votes, Blagojevich appointed, attorney Anthony Abboud, to serve. He is “Individual Q” in the indictment. He has been donating money to Obama’s political career since March 2000, with a total of more than $2,800.

    Blagojevich also appointed, attorney Jack Carriglio, or “Individual R.” On June 30, 2003, Carriglio donated $1,000 for Obama’s US Senate campaign.

    The TRS story has the makings of a great Hollywood movie with subplots upon subplots. Allison Davis, or “Individual BB,” was a friend of Hollywood producer Tom Rosenberg, who produced the movie, The Human Stain, with Anthony Hopkins and Davis in a small part. He also produced the Oscar winning, Million Dollar Baby.

    Rosenberg, or “Individual J,” is a central figure in the case. His investment firm, Capri Capital Advisers, a real estate manager, had done about a billion dollars of business with the TRS in the past and wanted to do more. In 2004, the Schemers tried to coerce a bribe from Rosenberg, or in the alternative a $1.5 million contribution for Blagojevich, in exchange for approval of a $220 million deal.

    According to the indictment, Davis admitted to Rosenberg that Rezko, and Blagojevich’s top fund raiser, Christopher Kelly, or Co-Schemer B, had asked Davis who could raise funds for Blagojevich from the state pension system and he volunteered Rosenberg’s name.

    During his testimony on April 1, 2008, Levine explained that he was already mad at Rosenberg because he expected $500,000 for help he gave Rosenberg in getting the TRS board to approve a $100 million deal in 2001, but he never came through with the money.

    The only benefit Levine received from the deal was that Rosenberg said Levine no longer had to pay him $50,000 a year for lobbying efforts, according to the monitoring by Gavel-to-Gavel.

    However, all hell broke lose when Rosenberg refused pay the $1.5 million. During the trial, prosecutors played tapes of phone calls in which comical conversations were discussed between the bipartisan group of Co-Schemers and Individuals, as they were trying to figure out how to deal with Rosenberg and his threats.

    The jury heard conversations between Republican power broker, William Cellini, or Co-Schemer A, and Levine, in which they said Rosenberg was threatening to “stand at State and Madison,” and make public the attempt to extort money for Blagojevich’s campaign and that he would “take them all down,” and even threatened to go to the Feds.

    They claimed Rosenberg said he considered Rezko and Christopher Kelly the two most likely members of Blagojevich’s inner circle to end up in prison someday, according to Gavel-to-Gavel. Kelly has been charged in a separate case with hiding $1.3 million from the IRS and using money from his business to pay gambling debts with Chicago bookies and Las Vegas casinos.
    Levine testified that Rezko wanted things to settle down and quoted Rezko saying, “Mr. Rosenberg was a dangerous individual, and nobody wanted to be put in a dangerous situation.”

    Levine said Rezko told him that TRS should grant Capri the $220 million. “But, in fact, that should be the last business that Mr. Rosenberg does with the State of Illinois,” Levine recalled Rezko telling him, according to Gavel-to-Gavel. Levine testified that Rezko said Blagojevich had been briefed on the plan and agreed with it.

    During his testimony, Levine also told the jury that Rezko had plans for Blagojevich to run for President. “He said that he had raised a great deal of money for Gov. Blagojevich and that he had great hopes and expectations that Gov. Blagojevich would run for president,” Levine told the jury.

    “And although he knew it was a long shot, he was working toward that end,” Levine said.

    He also told the jury about an October 29, 2003, trip in a plane he chartered to carry Blagojevich and others to fundraisers in New York, during which Levine thanked Blagojevich for reappointing him to the Planning board and said the governor told him, “Never discuss any state board with me, discuss them with either Tony Rezko or Chris Kelly.”

    The TRS part of the story has many subplots. For instance, in 2005, the Feds issued a subpoena to the TRS for records pertaining to a $150 million deal approved for the Carlyle Group, in which Robert Kjellander, or Individual K, described in the August 11, 2005 Sun-Times as the “national Republican Party treasurer,” and “a Springfield lobbyist with close ties to the White House,” was to be paid a $4.5 million fee.

    The most famous investor in the Carlyle Group is the family of Osama bin Laden, and its most famous advisor is the first President George Bush. On October 26, 2001, the New York Times reported that the “Saudi family of Osama bin Laden is severing its financial ties with the Carlyle Group, a private investment firm known for its connections to influential Washington political figures.”

    “It came largely as a result of public controversy about the family’s stake in a Carlyle fund that invests in buyouts of military and aerospace companies,” a Carlyle executive told the Times.

    After the September 11 attacks, the Times noted, “the investment was criticized amid speculation that the family might profit from increased military spending from America’s war on terrorism.”

    Kjellander reportedly headed Bush’s reelection campaign in three states and in December 2003, he was able to obtain an invitation from the Bush administration for Levine, Rezko, and Cellini, along with their wives, to attend a Christmas Party at the White House.

    Apparently Kjellander is still in good graces with the Republicans because he is “helping plan this September’s Republican National Convention in Minneapolis,” according to John Kass in the March 7, 2008 Chicago Tribune.

    The subpoena issued to the TRS in 2005, also included a request for records involving a $10 million investment approved for Hopewell Ventures in 2003, whose principals included David Wilhelm, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who is now a super delegate who openly supports Obama. Wilhelm was a main player in getting members approved to serve on the Health Facilities Planning Board.

    The Board is made up of nine members and approval of a project requires a majority of five votes. At the center of this scheme was a proposal by Mercy Health System to gain approval to build a new hospital in Crystal Lake. On April 21, 2004, the board voted to approve the project, even though state analysts said the hospital was not needed.

    Levine was also appointed to the Planning Board by a Republican Governor. However, he established himself as a bipartisan crook early in the trial. On March 10, 2008, he told the jury that even before he got involved with the Blagojevich administration, he used to funnel campaign contributions to Democratic candidates through straw donors at the request of former Chicago Alderman Edward Vrdolyak, who has also been indicted on federal fraud and bribery charges in a related case.

    Levine’s term on the Board was set to expire in 2004, but the Schemers made sure he remained on the panel. On March 10, 2008, Rezko’s lawyer questioned Susan Lichtenstein, former general counsel to Blagojevich, about a series of email exchanges she had related to the appointments of members to the Board in 2003.

    One of the emails was between Lichtenstein and the office of Wilhelm, who ran Blagojevich’s 2002 campaign, which suggested several appointees, including Levine.

    “With the e-mails,” Gavel-to-Gavel reports, “Rezko’s lawyers appear to be pushing the point that Rezko wasn’t alone in backing Levine and that Levine’s appointment had a broad array of support.”

    While all this was going on, as a state senator, Obama was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. As such, his name also appeared in the email exchanges as a member of a team working on legislation to keep the board from expiring under a sunset provision of Illinois law.

    The email exchanges said, Wilhelm had “worked closely” over six months with state legislators to extend the life of the board and listed Democrat and Republican leaders in the Illinois Senate and House, including Obama.

    The exchange with the names of four candidates for the board stated that “our attached recommendations reflect that involvement” with the political leaders.

    In the end, the changes made by the lawmakers in 2003 dropped the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, making it much easier to stack the panel, and by the summer of 2003, the Schemers controlled a 5-bloc vote.

    At the time, Thomas Beck was the chairman of panel, and Levine was the vice-chairman. Beck testified, under a grant of immunity, and told the jury that he took a $1,000 donation for Blagojevich when he met with Rezko to seek reappointment.

    The persons chosen to guarantee the votes were 3 doctors: Imad Almanaseer, Michel Malek and Fortunee Massuda.

    Massuda, or “Individual Y,” gave Obama $2,000 on January 26, 2004. Malek is “Individual FF,” and he donated $10,000 to Obama’s US Senate campaign on June 30, 2003, and another $500 in September 2003.

    Almanaseer, or “Individual EE,” contributed $1,000 to Obama on March 12, 2004, and ponied up another $2,000 on May 24, 2004.

    This part of the scheme also opens up several subplots. The person responsible for working out the details for the kickback on the Mercy proposal was Jacob Kiferbaum. Kiferbaum was the builder hired by Mercy to construct the new hospital. Levine told the jury about a long history of taking bribes from Kiferbaum, who would then pad his bills to hide the payments. He said the money would be passed through middlemen, such as John Glennon, a prominent Republican insider, who had served on a pension board with Levine.

    The new hospital was never built after details about the crimes became known. Kiferbaum has pleaded guilty in the case and is cooperating with the Feds.

    When referring to the fact that Obama’s name shows up in the email exchanges as reviewing the recommendations to appoint Levine and the others to the Planning Board, the media is always careful to mention that Obama is not accused of anything.

    However, on March 14, 2008, during an interview with the Tribune, Obama was finally asked directly: “Did you have discussions with him [Rezko] about either recommendations that you sought for people or recommendations that he was making?”

    “I did not have any formal discussions with Tony,” Obama said, “beyond one individual, and that was Dr. Eric Whitaker, who ultimately became the head of the Illinois Department of Public Health and who had been a longtime friend of mine, who I had known since he was getting his master’s at Harvard and I was at the law school there.”

    “He had expressed an interest in that post,” Obama informed the Tribune.

    “I think he had applied separately,” Obama said, “but I don’t recall whether I called Tony or he called me.”

    “And I simply said, ‘I think this guy is outstanding and is certainly somebody who is worthy of an interview,’” he added.

    “And was it your understanding that Tony was going to effectuate that?” the Tribune asked.

    “No,” Obama said. “What I knew was, and I don’t think this has been disputed, that he was one of a number of people within the Blagojevich circle who were, you know, helping to screen or interview potential candidates for administration posts.”

    The job Obama recommended for his friend paid about $150,000 a year. However, Eric Whitaker is now an executive vice-president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, according to the March 9, 2008, Sun-Times. That would be the same employer that pays Michelle Obama a salary of close to $350,000 as a vice president.

    But Obama’s using the lure of the pension funds to raise campaign money goes way back. In 1999, he “was instrumental in the formation of a coalition of black investment firm owners and legislators in Illinois to create an initiative that would award black-owned firms with the management of some of the state’s retirement funds,” according to a 2004 article on Black Enterprise.com.

    “He’s out there fighting for us,” said John Rogers, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based Ariel Capital Management in the article. Rogers donated $9,000 to Obama’s US Senate campaign.

    “He was a catalyst to pull [everyone] together to create the initiative to have these organizations let minority firms do business with state funds,” said Lee Holland, managing partner and Chief Investment Officer of Holland Capital. Lee Holland, his wife and two of his partners donated $35,000 to Obama’s US Senate campaign. In the October 1, 2007, New York Times, Christopher Drew and Raymond Hernandez reported that:

    “Members of the group, the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, say Mr. Obama checked into their problems and helped start a drive that enabled minority investment executives to win millions of dollars in business from the state’s giant pension funds.”

    However, the Times pointed out that Obama’s political career had benefited many times over from his ties to the group. “Several of the businessmen or their wives would help clear the debts from his Congressional race,” the Times wrote, “and six of the group’s members are now among the top fund-raisers for his presidential campaign, according to campaign finance records.”

    All totaled, the Times said, employees at more than 30 companies listed on the group’s website and their relatives donated more than $300,000 to help Obama win his US Senate seat in 2004 and “set fund-raising records early in the 2008 presidential race.”

    In fact, when Illinois State Senator Emil Jones, Jr became the State Senate president in 2003, he assigned Obama to a committee looking into the pension questions “to help raise his political profile,” according to the Times.

    During this period, the Times says, campaign finance records show executives from Ariel Capital, Loop Capital, Holland Capital and Capri Capital, “sharply increased their donations” to Obama’s State Senate campaign fund.

    “And once he began his campaign for the United States Senate,” the Times wrote, “they quickly became a fund-raising core that has carried over into the presidential race.”

    Obama quit the State Senate committee in late 2003 as his race for the US Senate heated up, “and just as the panel began a series of hearings that produced the most substantial changes,” the Times reports.

    The changes generated millions dollars in fees for some of the firms. For instance, Loop saw its fees from one pension fund rise to $2.4 million in 2006, from $5,700 in 2001, and Holland and Ariel both got several hundred million from the pension funds to invest.

    John Rogers and two other people at Ariel each bundled at least $50,000 in donations for Obama’s presidential campaign, according to the Times.

    An October 3, 2005 article in the Sun-Times, by Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney, reported that Ariel and its top executives also contributed $117,500 to Blagojevich’s campaign.

    Although the current criminal case focuses on two boards, the testimony of Jill Hayden, the former head of Blagojevich’s Office of Boards and Commissions, established that the same process was used to fill some 1,500 positions, on 300 boards and commissions, that control a wide variety of regulatory decisions, which would include other pension funds.

    Blagojevich appointed Davis to serve on a separate pension board, the Illinois State Board of Investment, which oversees funds for state employees, judges and legislators, and “also has been under federal investigation,” according to the November 7, 2007 Sun-Times.

    In the September 23, 2007 Sun-Times, in reference to the “minority owned” DV Urban, of Davis and Robert Vanecko, Tim Novak reported that a “nephew of Mayor Daley stands to make millions of dollars from city-connected pension funds” in “winning business from pension funds for city workers, cops, teachers and CTA employees”.

    All total, the pension funds gave DV Urban $68 million. The first investor was the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund, but according to Novak’s report, the board members did not learn that DV Urban was owned by the Mayor’s nephew until 6 months after they voted to approve the investment.

    As of September 23, 2007, Davis and Vanecko had received $1 million in management fees and they are “guaranteed at least $3 million in management fees and could make as much as $8.4 million before the pension deal ends on Dec. 31, 2014,” Novak reports.

    In addition, Davis and Vanecko will share in any profits from the real estate deals and can earn a 3% fee on the property they develop.

    Obama says he met Rezko, when he got a call right out of the blue from David Brint, after he was elected president of the Harvard Law Review, wanting to know if he would be interested in being a developer for Rezko’s real estate company, Rezmar.

    Because they read that he was interested in community development work, Obama says, Rezko and his two partners, Mahru and Brint, met with him to discuss the job. “I said no, but I remained friendly with all three of them,” Obama said in the Chicago Tribune on November 1, 2006.

    “All three of them remained great contributors of mine,” he added.

    And so they did. According to the latest tally given during interviews with the Tribune and Sun-Times on March 14, 2008, the amount attributed to Rezko went from a claim of $50,000 or $60,000 a year ago, to Rezko raising roughly $250,000. In fact, Obama told the Tribune that Rezko “might have raised $50,000 to $75,000? for one campaign alone in his failed run for Congress in 2000.

    The Rezmar connection is a gift that keeps on giving. In February 2007, David Brint gave Obama $4,600, and his wife, Elizabeth gave contributed $2,300. Brint also hosted a fundraiser for Obama in June 2007. Elizabeth donated a couple thousand in 2002 and $2,000 more in 2003 as well.

    On March 17, 2000, Mahru gave Obama $1,000, listing himself as president of Rezmar. On March 4, 2004, he donated a whopping $5,000. Mahru also tossed $1,000 to Mayor Daley in 2001 and gave him another $1,500 in 2003.

    But then Rezko and Mahru had plenty of money to throw around. By 1998, Rezko had a reported net worth of $34 million and Mahru was worth $14.6 million, according to the “Rezmar who’s who list,” published in the April 24, 2007 Sun-Times.

    After turning down the surprise job offer from Rezko, Obama expects voters to believe that he just happened to get hired at the small 12-attorney Davis law firm, which just happened to represent Rezmar in development deals. And then a couple years later, Rezko’s companies just happened to appear on the very first contributions made to the “Friends of Obama” committee to launch his political career as a state senator.

    On March 14, when asked by the Sun-Times whether the subject of politics was mentioned at his first meeting with Rezko, Obama stated: “Quite frankly, I don’t recall. I think it was talking about the possibility of me working for him.”

    About the same time that Rezko began funding Obama’s campaign for the Illinois senate, Rezmar began developing low-income apartments with three non-profit groups, which were also represented by the Davis law firm, including the Chicago Urban League, the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp, and the Fund for Community Redevelopment and Revitalization.

    Bishop Arthur Brazier, described as “a powerful ally of the mayor” by the Sun-Times, founded the Woodlawn Preservation Corp and the Fund for Community Redevelopment.

    Davis was the treasurer for Woodlawn when the group went into business with Rezmar and he also served on the board that ran the Fund for Community Redevelopment.

    By the time Rezmar started working with the non-profits, two of its earlier projects were having major problems, including a building where the tenants were without heat for five weeks between December 1996 and February 1997. The city had to sue to get the heat turned back on and in fact Chicago sued Rezmar for failing to heat buildings at least a dozen times, according to the Sun-Times.

    Obama got a $1,000 campaign donation from Rezmar on January 14, 1997, while those tenets were without heat, Novak reports. Records show that Obama also received a $1,000 contribution from Resko Concessions, a day earlier on January 13, 1997.

    Rezmar rehabbed 15 buildings between 1995 and 1998 in partnership with the nonprofits. Each project involved public and private financing including loans from the city or state, federal low-income-housing tax credits and bank loans. The way it was set up, Rezko and Mahru always came out ahead because Rezmar was paid part of the development fees when a deal closed and the remainder when tenants moved in.

    The projects were supposed to provide housing for low-income tenents for at least 25 years. “But the first deal Rezmar struck with the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp. collapsed in just six and a half years, when the state sued for foreclosure,” according to a report by Novak in the April 23, 2007 Sun-Times.

    Of the buildings managed by Rezko and Mahru, 17 ended up in foreclosure, six buildings are currently boarded up, hundreds of the apartments are vacant and in need of major repairs, and taxpayers are left stuck with millions in unpaid loans, Novak reports.

    An “Operation Board Games” investigation should be conducted on the slumlord business in Illinois over the past 15 years. The Chicago Sun-Times reporters, and especially Tim Novak, have already done an excellent job in connecting all the dots.

    Daley became Mayor in 1989 and Rezmar got its first city loan of $629,000 the same year, even though Rezko and Mahru had no construction experience. Rezmar stopped making the $2,982 payments three years later and missed 16 payments before the city changed the terms so that Rezmar would only have to pay $465 a month, according to the Sun-Times report by Novak.

    Over the years Davis has been appointed to serve on the Illinois Capital Development Board, which oversees state construction projects, and the Chicago Public Building Commission. Daily appointed Davis to the Chicago Plan Commission in 1991, where he stayed until January 2006.

    The Plan Commission must approve, disapprove or defer any proposal by a public body or agency “to acquire, dispose, or change any real property within the territorial limits of the city” on the basis of whether or not the referral complies with the city’s long range planning goals and objectives, according to its web site.

    After Rezko got Davis appointed to the pension fund Board, Davis helped Rezmar in two major developments as a member of the Plan Commission, even though the two men were business partners. The first vote involved a housing development along the Chicago River at Irving Park Road and was cast a month after Davis won a seat on the Board.

    The second was cast a year later in March 2004, for the approval of Rezmar’s proposal for the 62 acre South Loop project. This deal collapsed shortly before Rezko was indicted in October 2006, according to Novak.

    Daley made Thomas McNulty, the attorney who acquired the buildings for Rezmar, president of the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund, a charity run by the city that doles out tax dollars to landlords to subsidize rent payments for the poor. Rezmar received more than $2.7 million from this charity fund, according to the “Rezmar who’s-who list” in the April 24, 2007 Sun-Times.

    Mahru was appointed to the Illinois Affordable Housing Advisory Commission in 1993, which helps decide which projects get state funds, by Governor Jim Edgar.

    Obama began serving on the board of Woods Fund, a Chicago charity foundation, in 1993, the same year he was hired by Davis’ law firm. In 2000, Davis went to the foundation to help fund his plans to build low income housing. Obama voted to invest $1 million with Neighborhood Rejuvenation Partners, a $17 million partnership that Davis still operates, according to a report by Novak in the November 29, 2007 Sun-Times.

    Davis used some of the money to build a 72-unit apartment building for senior citizens, a $10 million project built with a $5.7 million city loan, which earned Davis nearly $700,000 in development fees, Novak says city records show.

    Davis’ son Cullen is paid to manage the building, which opened three years ago with a ceremony featuring Mayor Daley.

    Kelly King Dibble was the vice president for business development at Rezmar and she became the executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority once Blagojevich became Governor. She is now an attorney with, The Northern Trust Company, the same company that financed Obama’s mansion.

    Velma Butler, an investor in Rezko’s 62 acre Loop project, also serves on the Illinois Housing Authority. She donated $1,000 to Obama’s US Senate campaign in 2003.

    On October 1, 2006, Daley appointed Martin Nesbitt chairperson of the Chicago Housing Authority. The CHA was created for “the purposes of engaging in the development, acquisition, leasing, operation, and administration of a Low Rent Housing Program and other federally assisted programs,” according to the agency’s 2005 annual financial report.

    Nesbitt succeeded Sharon Gist Gilliam, according to the CHA web site. Gilliam is a former board member of Rezmar. She told the Sun-Times that she was only on the Rezmar board until 1991. However, the Times found her still listed as a board member in a 1994 biography on the company’s web site.

    Daley had appointed Nesbitt commissioner of the Housing Authority on July 9, 2003, and he served as vice chairperson of the Board since January 17, 2006.

    Nezbitt is also vice president of the Pritzker Realty Group, where he procures new real estate investment opportunities, retail investments and developments for the Pritzker Group, according to the CHA web site. A quick trip to the Huffington Post site showed tens of thousands of dollars donated to Obama from people with the last name Pritzker in the Chicago area but many people are listed as homemaker or not employed or information requested, so its impossible to sort them out.

    Nesbitt is treasurer for Obama’s presidential campaign according to the Center for Public Integrity. Over his political career, Nesbitt has contributed more than $10,000 to Obama’s campaigns.

    Michelle Obama was hired as an assistant in Daley’s office by Valerie Jarrett, Daley’s deputy chief of staff in 1991. When Daley appointed Jarrett chairman of the Office of Planning and Development, Michelle became her assistant..

    Jarrett is now CEO of the real estate development and management firm, called Habitat, which manages the housing program for the Chicago Housing Authority.

    The Commission on Chicago landmarks “is responsible for recommending to the City Council that individual buildings, sites, objects, or entire districts be designated as Chicago Landmarks, thereby providing legal protection,” according to the government web site.

    Daley appointed Michelle to serve on the Chicago Landmark Commission. The current chairman of the Commission is Daley’s former chief of staff, David Mosena. Mosena was a member of Obama’s US Senate Finance Committee in 2004, with other members that included Valerie Jarrett, Tony Rezko, Rita Rezko, and Allison Davis. The committee raised more than $14 million, according to Federal Election Commission records, cited by Novak in the Sun-Times on April 23, 2007. Jarrett serves as an advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign.

    The Illinois Finance Authority was established by Blagojevich in 2004. Its “role is to support the Governor of Illinois’ economic development agenda,” and “IFA approves about $3 billion in project financing each year,” according to the its site.

    Rezko business associate, Ali Ata, was appointed to head the Finance Authority. He is now under indictment in a separate criminal case in which Rezko is also charged. On June 30, 2003, Ata contributed $5,000 to Obama’s US senate campaign.

    On June 13, 2007, the Sun-Times reported that as a state senator, “Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting his political patron Tony Rezko’s successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens.”

    “I am writing in support of the New Kenwood LLC’s proposal to build a ninety-seven unit apartment building at 48th and Cottage Grove for senior citizens,” Obama wrote in October 28, 1998 letters to both city and state housing officials. “This project will provide much needed housing for Fourth Ward citizens.”

    New Kenwood was set up as another “minority owned” company, where Davis owned 51% and Rezko 49%.

    In the Times, Novak reported that the deal included $855,000 in development fees for Rezko and Davis, while Obama was still working at the Davis law firm, for a bid on a project that was “four blocks outside Obama’s state Senate district.”

    Although the law firm represented several companies owned by Davis and Rezko when Obama wrote the letters, the firm did not represent New Kenwood in the deal. According to the Sun-Times, Davis and Rezko instead hired a firm owned by Mayor Daley’s brother Michael, “to help them get $3.1 million from bonds issued by the city of Chicago.”

    “In addition to the development fees, a separate Davis-owned company stood to make another $900,000 through federal tax credits,” Novak reported in the June 13, 2007 Sun-Times.

    The development opened in 2002 and was supposed to be managed by William Moorehead & Associates. William Moorehead was also a client of the Davis law firm and a business partner of Davis. In April 2007, Moorehead told the Times that his company was dropped from the deal before the apartments opened. The apartments are now managed by a company owned by Davis’ son, Cullen Davis, according to Novak.

    In the Times article, Novak also noted that Moorehead received a 4-year prison sentence “for stealing more than $1 million from … public housing projects he managed for the Chicago Housing Authority and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, as well as from two developments he co-owned with Davis.”

    In a 2006, Moorehead pleaded guilty to fraud and other crimes and admitted stealing more than $600,000 from the Island Terrace and other federally subsidized projects.

    During the period when Moorehead was stealing money, the Times reports, he lent Davis $100,000. Davis sent Moorehead a letter on June 15, 2000, and said the sale and refinancing of one of their housing projects had been delayed and wrote: “I need to borrow $100,000 from the Island Terrace resources.”

    As part of a plea deal, Moorehead is cooperating in an ongoing federal investigation.

    David Brint now owns Brinshore Development. He told the Times that he quit Rezmar four years after the company got its first deal with city because Mahru did not find money for building repairs. Brint and his partners have taken over four failed Rezmar buildings — “in one case paying the city $1 million to settle a $4 million loan made to Rezmar,” according to the Times.

    Gary Poter owned the construction company that rehabbed all of Rezmar’s buildings. He was stabbed to death in May 2006, supposedly by a disgruntled employee, according to the Times “Rezmar who’s who” list. Back on March 3, 2004, Poter donated $2,000 to Obama’s US senate campaign and on July 19, 2004, he gave Obama another $1,000.

    Its more than obvious that the political mafia of Illinois now has plans to install the new, “White House Office of Urban Policy,” as a means of getting richer by funneling tax dollars through poor people and retirees on a national level via Obama.

    The leaders of Democratic party need to tell him that he will not be the nominee and to drop out of the race. If they do not, the Republicans have enough truthful information lined up to drive Obama out before election day.

    A month ago, a friend of mine who knew I did not think Obama was qualified to be president, asked me what I would do if he was nominated. I replied that I would vote for him of course, what a dumb question. No more. After a month of research, I could no more support Barack Obama as the leader of this country than I could support another war profiteering Republican.

    If he becomes the nominee, all the Democrats in America will be viewed by the rest of the world as either utterly stupid, or totally corrupt. Therefore, for the first time in my life, I have made a conscious decision to take a stand and not vote in a presidential election if the choice is Obama.

    Evelyn Pringle is an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America. She can be reached at: evelyn-pringle@sbcglobal.ne

  14. “more than 90 here today”

    thanks Admin for this correction and the interesting piece.

    You always score.

  15. The other problem, IMO, with the Mosque of Doom is, as mentioned, the financing. If the financing is investigated (and it should be) and has ties to terrorists and terrorist groups, or State Actors who support them, then NYC (and the Fed) has not only a right but a responsibility to protect American soil and its citizens from placing in our midst what amounts to an International Headquarters for an enemy Political Force. This is not an Embassy.

  16. Wasn’t there some battle a long time ago between (maybe) the English and Muslims and the loosing English commander did something to make an area unusable for the Muslims. What was it he did?
    What if a bunch of women start peeing on the ground where they intend to build? Would that make the area unusable for Muslim men? All the women would be guilty of would be peeing in a empty lot. Kind of seems fitting to me, do them in with their own women-phobia.

  17. There are nearly 800,000 Muslims in New York City
    ***********

    What is that, one out of 10.5 people in NYC is Muslim? In 2009 New York had 8.4 million people. How can this be possible? I guess when women are mere brood mares, slaves for the most part, not hard to see what they are doing. New York will become the first major American city with a majority Muslim population, then Sharia law. NYC, the crown of America. I shutter to think what the population will be in 10 more years.

  18. Wasn’t there some battle a long time ago between (maybe) the English and Muslims and the loosing English commander did something to make an area unusable for the Muslims.
    *******
    Perhaps you are thinking of the Indian Rebellion of 1857…AKA The Sepoy Mutiny… The British East India Company had over 200,000 Indians, both Hindu and Muslims in their Army. The British Army’s 1853 Enfield Rifle used a paper cartridge that was said to be greased with lard, either pork fat or beef tallow. The end of the cartridge had to be bitten off prior to loading. On the the “sparks” of the insurrection was that the Muslim Soldiers were offended by putting pig fat in their mouths and the Hindus, like-wise, cow fat.

  19. HOw about I bring a pig up to that soon to be mosque and lead it around in the structure, perhaps that will keep them from wanting to build there?? LOL! All New Yorkers should eat pork in the building everyday to deem it unfit for the mosque. Down here in Texas I could probably find some pig manure for the building..HUH?

    If there are 20 mosques in Manhattan proper already, there is no need for another…especially in the area they think they conquered.

    This is pretty disgusting…as far as Weiner goes I think Huma is part Arab and part East Indian. I have seen her with her head covered in public and I have seen her in public without her head being covered…so Huma is VERY Americanized! I doubt Weiner is not objecting to the mosque out of respect for his wife…he is probably scared of what Obama could do to him.

  20. intended to span the divide between Muslim and non-Muslim, not widen it.
    Oz Sultan, the programming director for the center, said the complex was based on Jewish community centers and Y.M.C.A.’s in Manhattan. It is to have a board composed of Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders and is intended to create a national model of moderate Islam.

    ==================

    So, how many square foot of floor space will be the ‘mosque’?

    I agree with Sarah that people are upset so the Muslims should back off for reasons of tact. But it’s not fair for opponents to distort the facts, either. Or to attribute to the builders intentions the opposite of what they state.

  21. Bloomberg is a financial genius, but otherwise, I don’t know. He could have spared Muslims unnecessary tension and conflict. He should have anticipated that this mosque will be vandalized, or worse. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out as misguided as Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount.

    There’s something wrong with this Bloomberg guy. I’m amazed he’s all over this mosque issue, but totally MIA when St. Vincent’s Hospital went under. St. V’s was a nationally top-ranked emergency medical center that carried the weight of triage on 9/11, and would have borne the brunt if the Times Square bomb had detonated. Bloomberg didn’t blink an eye when St.V’s shut down. He still maintains the main 9/11 triage center was superfluous to NYC’s terror preparedness. Before the Times Square bomber was caught, Bloomberg said he’d ‘bet’ the bomber was a Tea Party type angry about Obamacare. I voted for Bloomy 3X but these things sound like stroke symptoms to me.

  22. its going down like a sack of shit…….

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/08/04/2010-08-04_material_girl_michelle_obama_is_a_modernday_marie_antoinette_on_a_glitzy_spanish.html?page=0

    Material girl Michelle Obama is a modern-day Marie Antoinette on a glitzy Spanish vacation

    Sacrifice is something that many Americans are becoming all too familiar with during this economic downturn. It was a key theme in President Obama’s inaugural address to the nation, and he’s referenced it numerous times when lecturing the country on how to get back on its feet.

    But while most of the country is pinching pennies and downsizing summer sojourns – or forgoing them altogether – the Obamas don’t seem to be heeding their own advice. While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her “closest friends.” According to CNN, the group is expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms, more than a third of the lodgings at the 160-room resort. Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.

    Reports are calling the lodgings of Obama’s Spanish fiesta, the Hotel Villa Padierna in Marbella, “luxurious,” “posh” and “a millionaires’ playground.” Estimated room rate per night? Up to a staggering $2,500. Method of transportation? Air Force Two.

    To be clear, what the Obamas do with their money is one thing; what they do with ours is another. Transporting and housing the estimated 70 Secret Service agents who will flank the material girl will cost the taxpayers a pretty penny.

    Perhaps it could be that the Obamas, who seem to fancy themselves more along the lines of international celebrities than actual leaders, espouse a different view of sacrifice. When Michelle Obama accompanied her husband to Copenhagen along with best buddy Oprah Winfrey, she billed the trip – an ultimately unsuccessful bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago – as follows: “As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the President to come for these few days, so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home.”

    A quick jaunt to Denmark is a sacrifice? What portraits in courage!

    The Obama modus operandi is becoming clear. From lavish trips to Spain to reportedly flying Bo, the President’s Portuguese water dog, on a separate aircraft to vacation with them in Maine, to a date night in New York City that perhaps cost nearly $100,000, their idea of austerity is really just the lap of luxury, at least for ordinary folks.

    read on…2 pages worth…………..

  23. so lets see 70 rooms at 2’500 dollars a day, thats 175’000 dollars a day for 5 days, so the room bill id 885,000 dollars before they start. 2 airplanes, food, security costs.

    so thats millions for this little jaunt.

    Fuck them, makes me sick to the core and there are some poor schmucks being tossed out of their homes everyday due to this bad economy and being laid off and the money used for this little jaunt could rehome and feed a lot of people and get them back into work.

    Its sick, it really is.

  24. I think MO is feeding from the trough before they end up picking s–t with the birds when the moving vans pull up to the WH door.Hope it is soon.

  25. Again my apology for the long comment on the Rezko connection to Obama.Take notice of the many familiar names of the present people that are now on the WH payroll as advisers and rabble rousers and getting big bucks. SCARY

  26. moononpluto.

    60 rooms x 7 nights x $2500 = $1,05,000. Adding in food, travel, entertainment nwould bring it it close to $2 milion. That’s WITHOUT the sevret service and all the other WH staff.

    So we’re looking at $3 million plus of taxpayer money and no one in the media bats an eye.

    Compare that to the search and destroy they tried to inflict on Chelsea’s privately funded wedding.

    POS hypocrite press is shameless.

  27. Perhaps a Solomon solution is required here.

    1. Divide the land into three.

    2. Build a tiny mosque dead center.

    3. Close it in with a tiny Catholic Church
    on one side.

    4. Close it in with a tiny ultra-orthodox
    synagogue on the other side.

  28. gonzotx
    August 4th, 2010 at 10:38 pm
    We have to stop this take over now or we will lose this war, and it is a war, make no mistake!

    jbstonesfan
    August 4th, 2010 at 10:53 pm
    100% correct Gonzotx….we are losing the battle without a single shot being fired.
    ______________________________________________

    Brought to you by the egghead tyrants of multi-culti “tolerance”.

  29. http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/08/05/copy/judge-tosses-out-joe-the-plumber-privacy-lawsuit.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

    A federal judge yesterday threw out a lawsuit by Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher – the northwestern Ohio man immortalized as “Joe the Plumber” in the 2008 presidential campaign – alleging that three high-ranking state bureaucrats violated his privacy by running his name through confidential databases.

    U.S. District Court Judge Algenon L. Marbley said Wurzelbacher could not show that he had been harmed by the snooping.

    Three top managers of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services ran database checks of Wurzelbacher, who briefly vaulted to fame in October 2008 when he confronted then-candidate Barack Obama about the effects of his tax policies on Wurzelbacher’s Toledo-area plumbing business. He then teamed up with Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain, at several campaign events and was mentioned several times by McCain in the campaign’s final debate.

    ………………………………………………..

    ridiculous, they used it to try and ruin the guys reputation within the world of the press. This lot are getting away with abusing personal information.

  30. Unemployment

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 479,000 in the week ended July 31, the Labor Department said. That was the highest level in claims since early April.

    Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims dipping to 455,000 from the previously reported 457,000 the prior week, which was revised modestly up to 460,000 in Thursday’s report.

    The four-week average of new jobless claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose 5,250 to 458,500.

    A Labor Department official said there was nothing unusual in the state level numbers.

    so new jobs added were :

    42,000 added in July.
    19,000 added in June.

    That about 61,000 in TWO MONTHS.

    Yet, the WEEKLY new jobless claims have exceeded 400,000 during those months (and other months).

    At that rate, we see 61,000 new jobs but over 3,200,000 job losses in the same period.

    That should be considered EPIC FAIL.

  31. Related to the NY mosque building scandal, you hear the term Cordoba Initiative. What a misnomer it is. A true Cordoba initiative would be to allow building churches/synagogues/temples in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia.

    I had a chance to see the Mesquita-Cathedral in Cordoba in 2006 and it is beautiful (I got caught speeding on the way to it and had to pay a huge fine like $500 but that is another story, :)). The huge Mosque that stretches several blocks built by the Moors between the 8th and the 10 centuries. The Mosque was built by razing the church that was there to the ground. But the subsequent conquests by Christian kings kept the mosque and built a cathedral inside. Especially Charles V was sensitive to keep the moorish edifices in tact (like Alhambra in Granada).

  32. WASHINGTON – A new poll of Arab public opinion finds a significant drop in Arab world views of US President Barack Obama from a year ago. More than half of the respondents said they were displeased with Obama’s policy.

    The 2010 Arab Public Opinion poll will be released Thursday at the Brookings Institution by Shibley Telhami.

    It appears that Obama’s famous speech in Cairo, in which he called for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims” did not make a lasting impression on the Arab world.

    ………………………….

    Guess they figured out too he’s all mouth too and f all else.

  33. sorry, link.

    Poll: 64% of Arabs disappointed in Obama

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3930677,00.html

    According to the POLITICO blog, the most striking finding is that while early in the Obama administration, in April and May 2009, some 51% of those polled expressed optimism about American policy in the Middle East; in the 2010 poll, only 16% were hopeful, while a majority, 64%, was discouraged.

    “The data leaves little doubt that the deciding factor in the shift of opinion toward the Obama administration is disappointment on the Israeli-Palestinian issue,” Telhami said.

    George Washington University Middle East specialist and ForeignPolicy.com writer Marc Lynch said, “Basically, Arabs have concluded that he can’t deliver on his promises at best, or that he’s just like Bush at worst. But there’s still considerable residual hope at this point that they’re wrong and that he’ll come through in the end.”

    POLITICO said other key findings are that views on the Arab-Israeli conflict and its prospects for resolution have remained stable, and that a slight majority of the Arab public now sees a nuclear-armed Iran as being better for the Middle East.

  34. Wow.look at this new attempt by Obama to buy votes…

    Is Obama about to forgive billions in mortgage principal?

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/05/is-obama-about-to-forgive-billions-in-mortgage-principal/

    posted at 8:48 am on August 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

    James Pethokoukis hears rumors of an August surprise coming from the White House, one that will attempt to win backs the hearts and minds of voters dismayed at the failing economic policies of the Obama administration. With the government fully in control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Barack Obama may issue an order to forgive portions of underwater mortgages processed through the GSEs, where negative equity approaches $800 billion overall. Some financial houses have begun quietly preparing for the possibility:

    Main Street may be about to get its own gigantic bailout. Rumors are running wild from Washington to Wall Street that the Obama administration is about to order government-controlled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive a portion of the mortgage debt of millions of Americans who owe more than what their homes are worth. An estimated 15 million U.S. mortgages – one in five – are underwater with negative equity of some $800 billion. Recall that on Christmas Eve 2009, the Treasury Department waived a $400 billion limit on financial assistance to Fannie and Freddie, pledging unlimited help. The actual vehicle for the bailout could be the Bush-era Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, a sister program to Obama’s loan modification effort. HARP was just extended through June 30, 2011.

    The move, if it happens, would be a stunning political and economic bombshell less than 100 days before a midterm election in which Democrats are currently expected to suffer massive, if not historic losses. The key date to watch is August 17 when the Treasury Department holds a much-hyped meeting on the future of Fannie and Freddie. …

    Why? As Pethokoukis notes, it would be a naked ploy to buy votes … with our money:

    Democrats are in real danger of losing the House and almost losing the Senate. The mortgage Hail Mary would be a last-gasp effort to prevent this from happening and to save the Obama agenda. The political calculation is that the number of grateful Americans would be greater than those offended that they — and their children and their grandchildren — would be paying for someone else’s mortgage woes.

    The government controls the two GSEs thanks to the bailout demanded by Bush administration, and then made unlimited by the Obama administration. They are being floated on taxpayer money, but the idea had been that an orderly wind-down of bad loans and securities would eventually rescue the principal in most of the mortgages. Taxpayers would take a bath, but eventually we’d see something approaching a wash in the long run. Government seizure was supposed to allow for renegotiation of terms with borrowers to rescue the loans.

    A massive write-down of principal in underwater mortgages would cost us additional tens of billions of dollars, if not $100 billion or more, in order to get these mortgages to market level. That money won’t come out of thin air, either. Either it will take taxpayer dollars to make up the difference, or the sudden and arbitrary writedown will make Fannie/Freddie investors a whole lot more poor than they were before. The Obama administration can’t afford to send Wall Street reeling with that kind of shock, especially this close to an election and with the economy already sinking, so it would almost certainly require massive taxpayer subsidies to accomplish, on top of what’s already been spent on TARP bailouts.

    In other words, it’s exactly the same kind of Obamanomics that we have seen for the last eighteen months — spend what we don’t have now, run up debt like crazy, and hope that a momentary spike will translate into political success. Unfortunately, that has also been the formula for long-term economic failure.

  35. Can Bill Clinton Save the Democrats?

    By Joshua Green

    Last week found Bill Clinton in the unaccustomed position of being only the third-most-significant Clinton in the news: he trailed his wife, the secretary of state, and his daughter, whose wedding rivaled Princess Diana’s in terms of a media frenzy. As a result, people may not have noticed that the father of the bride appeared at a boisterous South Boston union hall last week to endorse Democratic Representative Stephen F. Lynch and at a fundraiser for Democratic Representative Leonard Boswell of Iowa. But in Washington everything Clinton does gets noticed. Here, the marriage that counts is the political marriage between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and the jitters aren’t matrimonial but electoral.

    The midterm elections are just three months away. All across the country, Democratic members of Congress are bracing for tough reelection campaigns, and doing so without a valuable asset. The sky-high approval ratings that carried Barack Obama into the White House in 2008 — and brought so many Democrats to Washington with him — have diminished, in some places greatly. Obama’s overall standing hovers around 45 percent and much lower in places like Arkansas and Missouri, where key Democrats are running in especially difficult races. That’s significant, because, as Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University, has noted, ”When it comes to choosing candidates for Congress, it is opinions of the president’s performance that matter.” Today, many Democrats find themselves pondering a question that would have seemed unthinkable only a year ago: Does President Obama help them or hurt them?

    Applied to President Clinton, that’s a much easier question to answer. He has emerged as the surrogate of choice for embattled Democrats. In May, he campaigned vigorously for Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who won a primary where many had written her off. He helped Mark Critz win a special House election in Pennsylvania that Republicans should have taken easily. In Colorado, his endorsement of Andrew Romanoff in the Democratic Senate primary helped turn what had looked to be an easy race for the incumbent, Michael Bennet, into a tight one — much to the chagrin of the White House, which had put its support behind Bennet [Disclosure: Bennet is the brother of the Atlantic’s editor, James Bennet]. He’s also endorsed Libby Mitchell in Maine, Frank Caprio in Rhode Island, and will soon return to Massachusetts on behalf of Representative Richard Neal. Clinton’s appeal is neither regional nor specific to Democrats. In July, according to Gallup, his favorable rating exceeded Obama’s for the first time. This resurgence is all the more striking because Clinton’s image took a beating in 2008, when many Democrats, including Obama staffers and members of Congress, denounced his attacks on Obama as racist — charges that split the party and that Clinton himself bitterly denied. He appears to have overcome this, but without quite forgetting it, either. What all the candidates he has endorsed have in common is that they were early supporters of Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidential nomination.

    Clinton also seems to be quietly making a point about race. He stumped for Blanche Lincoln in the predominantly black regions of Arkansas, and endorsed Kendrick Meek, a rising African American star, in Florida’s Democratic Senate primary, even though (or maybe especially because) both had been snubbed by Obama. It’s worth noting, too, that Clinton has not campaigned for candidates like Robin Carnahan in Missouri, who could use his support, but didn’t lend theirs to his wife.

    There are enough Democrats in need of help that Clinton and Obama could divvy them up according to loyalty and still not get to everyone. But there are also a number of close races, especially in rural conservative districts, where Clinton could make a difference and Obama probably could not. Nor has it been lost on the candidates or their handlers that the eventful post-presidency of Bill Clinton has taken another interesting turn.

    ”As the supersurrogate for Democrats,” said a party veteran with ties to both administrations, ”President Clinton has achieved his maximum cruising altitude on a long, occasionally turbulent, but ultimately safe and comfortable flight. President Obama is still taxiing.”

    It’s hardly surprising that a president stands to play a commanding role in the fall campaign. But who would have guessed it might not be Barack Obama, but Bill Clinton?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/08/can-bill-clinton-save-the-democrats/60964/

  36. Moon: this judge looks to me like a political animal. He may not have been appointed by Obama, but the chances are 99 to 1 that he is an Obama supporter. It is not just race but other factors in his background that point to that conclusion. Just the kind of judge Obama wants: a rubber stamp. If this judge is looking for damages how about the intentional infliction of emotional distress, loss of consortium, etc. Not much of a reach. I have not looked at his other decisions but I suspect they are all of the same ilk. That said there will always be someone somewhere who will stick up for him. Most likely someone who won a big case in his courtroom who has a personal motive to say he is great.

    http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/faculty/bios.php?ID=107

  37. Weiner is a hothead who gets tangled up in his underwear when he goes into a state of high dudgeon. If you have noticed, some people function well as 120 mph, whereas others become blithering idiots. I think Andy is more the latter. When he gets confronted with the contradiction in his position, he gets very brittle and defensive. Rather than deploy humor, roll with the punches, he digs in and repeats his main point, which has just been contradicted. He comes across as a fool. What Huma sees in that jackass, god only knows. But it is only for her sake that I do not say what I really think about him. But I will say he is like Wexler on LSD. Now if Hillary runs and Weiner is a supporter, well I could be persuaded that I was wrong.

  38. Hmmmmmmmm……

    Obama dines with Oprah on his birthday –

    (CNN) – When you’re the President of the United States, your birthday celebrations don’t generally involve a low-key evening alone sulking about the loss of your glory days.

    President Obama made that point well last night. After a flight from Washington to Chicago, where he was greeted at O’Hare Airport by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn among others, the President took a traffic-avoiding helicopter ride to a landing zone at Soldier Field home of the Chicago Bears and then a motorcade ride to his own home in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park.

    But a little more than an hour later the commander in chief was out on the town for dinner at Graham Elliot, a chic Windy City restaurant that bills itself as the city’s first ‘bistronomic’ restaurant. Bistronomic is a term used to describe an establishment that offers four star cooking in a more casual environment.

    Oh, and he dined with Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King.

    Obama spent more than three hours inside before emerging before a gathering of about 75 onlookers outside the restaurant. The birthday President gave a wave to the cameras before entering his limousine and motorcading home for the night.

  39. wbboei,

    Weiner might indeed be a hothead, but in this case I think his heart was in the right place.

    There is no doubt that the dims have stepped on repub toes to push legislation through up to now, but this is not the time for the repubs to try and punish the dims by withholding their votes for something so important.

  40. The only logical reason Bill would have to help Obama/ dems is to garner support for Hillary’s 2016 run imo. The problem, however, is the DNC will not support her as we saw all too well.

  41. JanH, I actually didn’t mind that top 10 list about Chelsea’s wedding. None of the items took potshots at her, and I thought some were pretty funny.

  42. JanH, I know how you feel, lol.

    But even the one about Bill still being at the bachelor party was tame compared to some of the tastless stuff I’ve heard elsewhere (like telling Chelsea to keep her dad away from the bridesmaids). I think the Madeleine Albright one is my favorite. Did you read that she was the last one to leave the dance floor at the reception? lol!

  43. This mortgage thing sends out a totally immoral message and i think the american people would be furious at such an attempt to peddle votes. It flies in the face of responsibility, you can’t just pay off mortgages with taxpayers money and people who took out liar loans and buy to letters get away with it, i mean what about everyone else with private mortgaes and who in the end pays for it all.

  44. Yep, it does look like MO has lost one of her sleeves in Spain….she must have found out that hubby would be with Oprah for his B-day in Chicago….I bet thats why she went to a different country….she doesn’t want to see the two big O’s together. LOL!!

  45. moononpluto
    August 5th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    i mean what about everyone else with private mortgaes and who in the end pays for it all.
    _______________________________________

    You mean the responsible folks? F!@# ’em.

  46. The only logical reason Bill would have to help Obama/ dems is to garner support for Hillary’s 2016 run imo. The problem, however, is the DNC will not support her as we saw all too well.
    —————————————————————
    I have never put much faith in the 2016 scenario, for a number of reasons. I always thought it was a ploy by the bots to ward off a primary challenge to their candidate Obama. Therefore, the explanation must lie elsewhere. Assume for the moment that the polls are right, the characterization of Obama=Carter is also right, then what you may be seeing is positioning within the Democratic Party for 2012, in which case the motive could well be this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8_up5AvEEc

  47. Why Schumer is worried:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/61-new-yorkers-oppose-ground-zero-mosque

    A new poll from Siena finds that 61 percent of New York residents and 56 percent of New York City residents oppose the proposed Ground Zero mosque. Only 33 percent of NYC residents support it. Here’s the breakdown:

    By a margin of 61 to 26 percent, New Yorkers oppose the proposal to build the Cordoba House, a multi-story Muslim Cultural Center in lower Manhattan two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center according to a new survey released today from the Siena College Research Institute (SRI). New Yorkers have been following the new Arizona immigration law very closely and 52 percent support passing a similar law here in the Empire State. Seventy percent of New York residents say that the presence of 10 to 20 million illegal immigrants poses a somewhat (30%) or very significant (40%) problem to the U.S., and large majorities call for comprehensive immigration reform that would include enhanced border security (79%), the creation of a process for admitting legal temporary workers (70%), and implementing a tough but fair path to legalization for those already here (65%).

  48. moononpluto
    August 5th, 2010 at 1:22 pm
    This mortgage thing sends out a totally immoral message and i think the american people would be furious at such an attempt to peddle votes. It flies in the face of responsibility, you can’t just pay off mortgages with taxpayers money and people who took out liar loans and buy to letters get away with it, i mean what about everyone else with private mortgaes and who in the end pays for it all.
    ___________________

    I don’t know the financial industry, but could he be paying back another Chicago thug. This man, Larry Fink, through BlackRock, also owns the Illinois-based company that manufactures and sells Corexit, the dispersant which was used in the Gulf Coast. They are just one ugly group of thugs.

    “BlackRock’s Larry Fink helped popularize the same mortgage-backed securities that nearly poisoned the banking system. Now his firm is making millions cleaning up these toxic assets.”

    “AIG, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac had all hired BlackRock over the past few months. As Fortune went to press, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson had BlackRock on his short list to manage, well, your money – a chunk of the $700 billion bank bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.”
    http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/28/magazines/fortune/blackrock_brooker.fortune/index.htm

    ______________

    “Larry Fink’s $12 Trillion Shadow. Though few Americans know his name, Larry Fink may be the most powerful man in the post-bailout economy. His giant BlackRock money-management firm controls or monitors more than $12 trillion worldwide—including the balance sheets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the toxic A.I.G. and Bear Stearns assets taken over by the U.S. government last year. How did Fink rebound from a humiliating failure to become the financial fulcrum of Washington and Wall Street? Through a series of interviews, the author probes his role in the crisis, his unique risk-assessment system, and the growing concern he inspires.”
    Link: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/04/fink-201004

    I find it scary that one person would have conrol of this much money.

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/28/magazines/fortune/blackrock_brooker.fortune/index.htm

  49. as i said, Its all about Obama, Michelle is the bearded window dressing and the kids just tv props to be wheeled out for tv spots. That whole family has been put together for professional purposes.

  50. Pat Cadell just said on FOX that the Democratic Party is fracturing. He said HIS party has been taken over by OVER EDUCATED elites who care nothing for the regular people and traditional Democratic values.

    WOW! He’s really giving it to the party of Obama.

  51. MO looks ridiculous in tha overly revealing tasteless styleless shirt.

    She has no class. Spanish women must be laughing their butts off about her. (In secret, of course).

  52. Re mortgages.

    Suppose Hi Speculator buys a house for $20,000 — its real fair price.

    He offers it for sale to Dum Sucker for $100,000. DS signs that mortgage.

    DS can’t pay. Deus X Machina steps in and says “That price should have been $25,000 — a reasonable profit. That mortgage is hereby reduced to $25,000.”

    NOBODY is going to pay Hi Speculator that $75,000. No taxpayer money is going to anyone.

    Even Hi Speculator isn’t losing anything. He never sold $100,000 worth of value in the first place.

    If someone overcharges you, and the error is corrected — nobody is PAYING the overcharge.

    That’s how mortgage relief should work, imo. Of course the fine printo of Obama’s version probably WILL pay Hi Speculator someting, with tax money.

  53. Obama thinks it appropriate to recognize Hiroshima: Clinton

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that US President Barack Obama “thought it appropriate” to recognize Japan’s atomic bomb anniversary as he wants to rid the world of nuclear arms.

    The United States, 65 years after a mushroom cloud rose over Hiroshima, will for the first time send an envoy this Friday to commemorate the bombing that rang in the nuclear age.

    “President Obama is very committed to working toward a world without nuclear weapons,” even if he sees it as a “long-term goal,” Clinton told reporters when asked for comment on the anniversary.

    “I think that the Obama administration and President Obama himself believe that it would be appropriate for us to recognize this anniversary and has proceeded to do so,” she said.

    The US ambassador to Japan, John Roos, is due to attend and lay a wreath “to express respect for all of the victims of World War II,” the State Department said.

    The United States has not apologized for the atomic bombs it dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which, surveys show, most Americans believe were necessary to bring a quick end to the war and avoid a land invasion that could have been more costly.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g3ikKw6yxtx1-I62rfvXlsGsbkNA

  54. Thankfully, millions of American GI’s were saved b/c Truman had the courage to drop the bomb.

  55. link @ 2:19 pm great find, andyp
    —————
    Scrolling down past all the Mechelle’s with captions which seem to bend over backward to rub in how much she costs us, we learn that Oprah was at Barry’s party, and the expression on her face in the picture given there reminds me of someone caught with that someone’s pants down.

  56. #
    turndownobama
    August 5th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Re mortgages.

    Suppose Hi Speculator buys a house for $20,000 — its real fair price.

    He offers it for sale to Dum Sucker for $100,000. DS signs that mortgage.

    DS can’t pay. Deus X Machina steps in and says “That price should have been $25,000 — a reasonable profit. That mortgage is hereby reduced to $25,000.”

    NOBODY is going to pay Hi Speculator that $75,000. No taxpayer money is going to anyone.

    Even Hi Speculator isn’t losing anything. He never sold $100,000 worth of value in the first place.

    If someone overcharges you, and the error is corrected — nobody is PAYING the overcharge.

    That’s how mortgage relief should work, imo. Of course the fine printo of Obama’s version probably WILL pay Hi Speculator someting, with tax money.
    …………………………………..

    Sorry I can’t agree with that, thats how capitalism works, a property is only worth what someone wants to pay for it. You sign a contract for something, you pay for it, you have not been forced into it, thats your choice to do so.

    How would it be, if everyone in America who signs a contracts suddenly goes back and says, Gee, i dont think i want to pay that, here’s half the money, where would we be. If you can’t afford to buy the house, don’t do the deal, everyone has the right to sell a property at the price they want, its up to you to decide if you want it or afford it. You can’t just suddenly let people away with irresponsible decisions, its wrong. If you do that, things collapse down the chain.

  57. Yes JanH. Also, notice MO went to Spain, a very anti-Semetic/Israeli country with a disgrceful past as far as it’s treatment of Jews.

  58. jbstonesfan,

    I also read the article you posted about J Street and the mosque.

    I am so disgusted by this.

  59. Myself, i think primarily what they should have done is reduce multiple earnings and ratios for mortgage amounts to bring them into reality and up the deposit that must be provided. People should realise that buying a house is something you aim for and save for, not a high rate mortgage giveaway to anyone who walks in the office.

    Back in my day, you stayed at home, rented and saved like hell and thought before you signed that house deal, not just do it on a whim.

  60. Amen to this article.

    Just the fact that the organization that wants to build this mosque has the word “Cordoba” in it makes concerned about the intentions of its construction. I don’t believe for one minute that this is about promoting cooperation. I suspect that the word Cordoba is taken from the Cordoba caliphate in Spain. There was no cooperation in Spain, just conquest, and subjugation during that time. I find it strange that a Muslim organization that downplays this fact has found it of upmost importance to put their new “mosque of cooperation and dialogue” at a location that is so near to a powerful American landmark that was destroyed in the name of the religion that they represent. This mosque proposal reeks of insensitivity, and duplicitousness on their part. The mosque does not have to be located at the proposed location, and they know it. It also does not have to have an opening date of September 11, 2011. The location of the mosque and the opening date are both insulting, and give the appearance of victory to Islam over America, and not some benevolent idea of inter-religious fraternity and cooperation.

  61. You can’t just suddenly let people away with irresponsible decisions, its wrong. If you do that, things collapse down the chain.

    =================

    You can’t let swindlers get away with over-inflating home prices. We did that — and things ARE collapsing down the chain.

    Even when the buyers were irresponsible (many were not), it was the real estate and financial middle-men who understood the situation and should be held responsible. But note they are not actually losing anything! That $75,000 they added to the mortgage never existed!

  62. You can’t let swindlers get away with over-inflating home prices. We did that — and things ARE collapsing down the chain.

    Even when the buyers were irresponsible (many were not), it was the real estate and financial middle-men who understood the situation and should be held responsible. But note they are not actually losing anything! That $75,000 they added to the mortgage never existed!

    ……………………………

    Buyers are just as culpable as the financial agencies, don’t pay the price and force prices down. People should know how much something is worth and frankly, how is it swindling when someone has agreed to pay that price and signed up for it, if its mis-sold product, yes but i don’t understand your logic on this. If you don’t want to pay the money, you don’t sign up to it and moan when interest rates and a bad economy cause you hardship trouble. If I take out a bad loan, i’m responsible for doing it, no-one else. I don’t suddenly expect someone to pay off my mortgage if the market collapse, thats why its called a housing market, like a stock market, it goes up and down.

  63. Since Obama took office in January 2009, 558 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan, out of 1,127 since the war began nine years ago, according to CNSNews.com’s tally.
    [….]
    As a presidential candidate, Obama vowed to shift the focus of U.S. military operations in the Middle East from Iraq to Afghanistan. Last year, as president, he ordered an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, angering the anti-war wing of his own party.
    http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=70551

  64. As I said, ‘forgiving’ part of a mortgage is NOT ‘paying it off.’

    With ‘paying it off’, the swindler who inflated the price would get his inflated price. With ‘forgiving’ it, the swindler gets what he deserves — Nothing!

  65. Pat Cadell just said on FOX that the Democratic Party is fracturing. He said HIS party has been taken over by OVER EDUCATED elites who care nothing for the regular people and traditional Democratic values.
    ———————————————————————————

    The closing paragraph of the book “The Vision of the Anointed” (1995) says it all:

    “In the anointed, i.e. the elites (big media, professionals, academicians, judges like the one in Arizona, new economy billionaires) who support Obama, we find a whole class of supposedly “thinking people” who do remarkably little thinking about substance (of problems), and a great deal of verbal expression (about an agreed to narrative, sacred cows and morality plays floating around in their pointed little heads). In order that this relatively small group of people can believe themselves wiser and nobler than the common herd, we have adopted policies which impose heavy cost on millions of human beings, not only in taxes but in lost jobs (no job recovery until 2013), social disintegration (gangs, high school drop out rates, illegal immigration), and loss of personal safety (i.e. Miranda rights for terrorists). Seldom have so few cost so much to so many.”

    “Lay not that flattering unction to your soul”—-Hamlet

  66. WIKILEAKS AFGHAN PAPERS KILLING OBAMA

    By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

    Published on DickMorris.com on August 4, 2010

    Printer-Friendly Version

    As we suggested in our recent column, the new Gallup/USA Today poll confirms that Obama’s ratings have collapsed as a result of the WikiLeaks release of Afghan War memos. Down from 46% in the most recent poll, Obama’s job approval has plunged to 41% — the lowest it has ever been in any major poll.

    Democrats have now joined in the defection from Obama impelled by their increasing anger over his continued involvement in Afghanistan and the emerging double dip in the recession. Support for his war policies there has dropped to 38% from 46% in February while approval of his handling of the economy has plunged to 39%.

    Elected as a peace and jobs candidate, the defections over these two issues among his base are likely to be especially injurious in the 2010 Congressional elections. The generic Republican v Democratic ballot now shows an eight point GOP lead according to Rasmussen Reports.

    We have recently reviewed polls for five Republican House challengers to Democratic incumbents in Iowa, North Dakota, Virginia, and New York and were shocked to see the Republicans leading in each. Normally, one would consider GOP chances excellent if the challenger were able to hold the incumbent to under 50% of the vote, since the undecided almost always goes entirely for the challenger. But to actually show leads at this point is incredible.

    Once Democrats start abandoning Obama, there is no bottom to his ratings. Disaffection and cynicism spread easily in that party and the left has shown signs of increasing galvanization against the war. More than 100 House Democrats voted against war funding, about 40% of the total Democratic membership in the House.

    Adding to the party’s woes is, of course, the emerging scandals involving Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Maxine Waters (D-CA). Coming just as the fall campaign kicks off, they remind one of the Foley scandal that so darkened GOP chances in 2006. With the House Democrats certain not to expel either member but to slap each on the wrist, the scandal will flare into a conflagration that will further diminish Democratic chances in November.

    In a presidential year, these Democratic defections would only be consequential were there a third candidate or a primary challenger to choose. But in an off-year, staying home is a viable option, particularly for the minority and young voters Obama lured to the polls for the first time in 2008. Their defection will be disastrous for Obama and will cost him control of both houses of Congress.

  67. “forgiving part of a mortgage loan” is still showing extreme irresponsibility, so someone still has to pay for the money thats gone out to the seller to pay for that mortgage.

    If you forgive part of a loan thats already been paid out to the seller say 5 years ago, who is going to cover that, lets call it 75K, who is going to recoup that 75K from the seller. You going to ask for the 75K back. I still don’t get what you are saying, how can you just give away and reduce a whackload of money that has been paid to the seller for the property.

    That money still has be covered for, somewhere by someone.

  68. Cenk Uygur did a segment on msnbc earlier asking “Would Hillary Clinton have been a better president for progressives?

    he had on two AA democratic analysts – the woman was all O…dissing Hill…the other man, forget his name, worked in the Clinton WH, had mostly good things to say for Hill but would not diss O

    Cenk, while diplomatic, definitely made his point and while being kind, stated unequivocally that Hillary would have been a stronger leader and he thinks better…

    …so many doubts and comparisons about O in the ‘air’

    right now, Cafferty is complaining about O and siting progressive blogs as being disappointed how much O is spending with wealthly donors, etc – they are all questioning the so called O ‘transparency’

    …and all while Marie Antoninette…oops…Michelle parties in Marjoca with the european elites…

  69. and actually if Obama does do this, it won’t do anything for prices – in fact, it likely would push them further downwards, as it would permit “clearing” of homes that currently can’t be sold (and thus do not establish a market-price mark) due to being underwater. It would be a mess.

    I smell a rat and no such thing as a free lunch. The Taxpayer will lose out as usual, if you think otherwise, your an idiot.

  70. There were many versions of this mortgage swindle. Here’s a simple one:

    Tiki T. Developer builds some new houses that by all sane market standards should be worth $100,000 each. But he prices them at $500,000 each and gets Dum Sucker Jr to sign a mortgage for $500,000 with a $400,000 balloon payment to finish.

    DSJ makes the payments for a few years adding up to $100,000 which TTD gets.

    Then the $400,000 balloon payment comes due and DSJ can’t make it.

    If DX Machina comes along and FORGIVES the $400,000 balance — nobody has lost anything. No $400,000 has already been paid to any seller by anybody.

    TTD has got the $100,000 which covers his construction expense with a fair profit. The $400,000 he tacked on to the price never existed as value in the real world.

    If you’re so concerned about TTD losing something he pulled out of his ass that never really existed — tell him he should have done a better credit check on his buyer.

  71. haha, funny how these guys work…….

    Senate Approves Higher Government Mortgage Fees

    Higher monthly fees are coming for consumers who take out home loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, the primary source of mortgages for first-time homebuyers.

    Earlier this year, the FHA raised the upfront fee to 2.25 percent of the total mortgage amount from 1.75 percent. Agency officials want to lower that to 1 percent.

    The combined impact of lowering the upfront fee and raising the monthly fee would mean a borrower taking out a mortgage of $170,000 at an interest rate of 5 percent would pay an extra $38 a month.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/38576781?__source=yahoo|related|story|text|&par=yahoo

  72. Oh, I’m explaining the liberal principle behind an honest ‘mortgage forgiving’ plan — not whatever fake planObama will try to pass off, which probably WILL give tax money to the swindlers.

  73. confloyd
    August 5th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Yep, it does look like MO has lost one of her sleeves in Spain….she must have found out that hubby would be with Oprah for his B-day in Chicago….I bet thats why she went to a different country….she doesn’t want to see the two big O’s together. LOL!!

    —–
    Yup, and she is probably not happy that Hillary’s daughter gave her the super snub by “No invite for you!” last weekend.

    MO didn’t get the chance to try and outshine the bride with her PepBoys style, nor decline the invite…so she took her crew to Spain on our dime – just because she could.

  74. I don’t own my own home, because I can’t afford one.

    No piece of the American pie, too bad…this is the way it should be.

    I don’t wanna pay one cent in taxes to pay for some other person’s mortgage!!!!

  75. Surely if the house sold for 500,000 regardless of what it was ‘worth’, the mortgage company would pay the seller ‘x’ dollars. The seller is now out of the picture. We have only the mortgage company that is out of pocket to the tune of the (probably 100% mortgage). If the mortgagee now reneges the house which is worth say its ‘worth’ or less cannot cover the mortgage money paid out to the seller. The mortgage company takes a bath. In the case of Fannie and Freddie with open-ended government support, that means the American taxpayer.

  76. shadowfax,

    I concur! I am not going to pay for someone else’s idiotic mistakes! Ia made plenty of my own mistakes but I am not depending on anyone else to bail me out. I made my grave, I dig myself out. I’m living in a small summer cottage renovated and winterized over the past three years because it’s cheap! I could probably qualify for something nicer, more modern, more comfortable, but I prefer to live within my means, no matter how limited that is.

    I do not like owing anyone anything.

  77. And I want to know why the heck the press isn’t saying one word about MO’s tax-payer funded extravaganza in Spain!

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  78. Wow, guess that lady who psychotically proclaimed “Obama’s gonna pay for my gas and mortgage!!!” might end up being right after all. 🙄

    Anyway, I still prefer Hillary’s plan of bringing back the HOLC to any of O’s bullshit ideas….

  79. ” Two million homeowners carry mortgages worth more than their homes. They hold $3 trillion in mortgage debt. Nearly three million adjustable-rate mortgages are scheduled for a rate increase in the next two years. Another wave of foreclosures looms.
    I’ve proposed a new Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), to launch a national effort to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. The original HOLC, launched in 1933, bought mortgages from failed banks and modified the terms so families could make affordable payments while keeping their homes. The original HOLC returned a profit to the Treasury and saved one million homes. We can save roughly three times that many today. We should also put in place a temporary moratorium on foreclosures and freeze rate hikes in adjustable-rate mortgages.”
    — Hillary Clinton, 2008
    http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB122230767702474045.html

    Hillary goes on to talk about actually using taxpayers’ money to “help homeowners refinance.” That’s much more drastic than the ‘forgiveness’ I’m trying to define. (Basement, I feel your pain. 😉

  80. Sunday Miami Herald had a column by Frida Ghitis titled
    “Hillary’s Hitting Home Run’s”.The Pakistan Observer named Hillary “The Iron Fisted Lady With Velvet Gloves”
    Log on to fjgihitis@gmail.com

  81. lol, oh this i can believe…..

    National Enquirer…….

    WHY MICHELLE OBAMA HATES JILL BIDEN’s GUTS! Exclusive!

    MICHELLE OBAMA has had enough of JILL BIDEN’s lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

    The claws are out in the White House as First Lady Michelle Obama feuds with Vice President Joe Biden’s wife Jill, sources say.

    “Michelle is furious at Jill for what she sees as her increasing behind-the-scenes lack of respect toward her,” a political source in the nation’s capital told The ENQUIRER.

    “To Michelle, it’s insulting that Jill and Joe are always so casual around America’s first family.

    “Michelle believes Jill doesn’t respect her. What’s got her seething is that Jill doesn’t seem to treat Michelle with the reverence the first lady expects.

    “And it drives Michelle crazy!”

  82. Kay said:
    Surely if the house sold for 500,000 regardless of what it was ‘worth’, the mortgage company would pay the seller ‘x’ dollars. The seller is now out of the picture.

    ==================

    My $500,000 example was owner-carry. The developer who built the houses took $100,000 (what the house was really worth) from the buyer already. No one ever paid anyone the other “$400,000”.

    You see this in “no credit check” used-car scams. The dealer gets the actual value of the car up front as down payment. Then when the buyer defaults, the dealer gets the car back, too.

  83. what rubbish…. owner carry is so dodgy and if you get involved with that, you deserve all you get. You really don’t want to get into that shit set up and if you do, on your own head be it. It can place you in extreme financial jeopardy.

  84. Kay said:
    We have only the mortgage company that is out of pocket to the tune of the (probably 100% mortgage). If the mortgagee now reneges the house which is worth say its ‘worth’ or less cannot cover the mortgage money paid out to the seller. The mortgage company takes a bath. In the case of Fannie and Freddie with open-ended government support, that means the American taxpayer.

    =============

    If a mortgage company paid out $500,000 for a house that was realistically only worth $100,000 — and on a “no credit check”, ‘designed to fail’ mortgage — the mortgage company deserves to take a bath.

    Fannie and Freddy shouldn’t bail them out. Fanny and Freddy are supposed to evaluate both the house and the buyer’s credit before insuring the loan. If F&F were corrupt — then at least their bailing of those mortgage companies should stop now. Prosecute and fine the mortgage companies for fraud.

    But I think Hillary’s HOLC plan would be more generous with tax money.

  85. owner carry is so dodgy and if you get involved with that, you deserve all you get.

    ===================

    The dodgy owner/developer who writes up one of those dodgy mortages deserves what he would get — NONE of his inflated price. So NO expense to the taxpayers for that.

  86. This ought to be interesting….

    LONDON – Online whistle-blower WikiLeaks has posted a huge encrypted file named “Insurance” to its website, sparking speculation that those behind the organization may be prepared to release more classified information if authorities interfere with them.

    At 1.4 gigabytes, the file is 20 times larger than the batch of 77,000 secret U.S. military documents about Afghanistan that WikiLeaks dumped onto the Web last month, and cryptographers say that the file is virtually impossible to crack — unless WikiLeaks releases the key used to encode the material.

  87. Kay said:
    But didn’t Fanny and Freddy carry poor mortgages because they got involved in social engineering?

    ==================

    Some lenders did, I don’t recall how far up it went. I used to have some good material up at clintondems.com but that server seems to be out now.

    Obama helped some group pressure some banks about it, back in Chicago.

  88. Fannie Mae asks for $1.5B in aid after 2Q loss (and Obama wants them to forgive mortgage money?)

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fannie-Mae-bailout-could-cost-apf-1295937579.html?x=0

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fannie Mae is asking for less money from the government, a sign that the cost to taxpayers for bailing out the mortgage giant could be billions lower than once thought.

    The government rescued Fannie Mae and sibling company Freddie Mac from the brink of failure nearly two years ago. The new request means they have needed $146.4 billion to stay afloat.

    Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million home loans worth more than $5 trillion.

    Edward DeMarco, the government’s chief regulator of the two companies, said in interview last week that the total cost to taxpayers for rescuing Fannie and Freddie should be less than $400 billion. That’s under most economic scenarios, he said.

    ………………………

    lol only 400 billion, but Michelle needs that for her foreign trips.

  89. lol, rats jumping ship, major infighting.

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/08/05/4828231-romer-to-quit-as-obama-adviser

    Christina Romer to quit as Obama Economic Adviser

    National Journal’s Victor will have the scoop in tomorrow’s edition of the National Journal magazine that Obama economic adviser Christina Romer is quitting the post. It all stems from her feeling — despite her title as chairwoman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers — that Larry Summers has more influence with the president.

    Victor quotes “a source with insight into the White House economics team,” who says:

    “She has been frustrated. She doesn’t feel that she has a direct line to the president. She would be giving different advice than Larry Summers [director of the National Economic Council], who does have a direct line to the president. She is ostensibly the chief economic adviser, but she doesn’t seem to be playing that role.”

    And he quotes banking consultant Bert Ely, who faults Summers for the missed jobless rate projection. (The administration posited that it would be just 8% if the stimulus passed, yet it is nearly 10% now.)

    “You have to wonder why Summers isn’t the one that should be taking the fall,” Ely says, per Victor. “But Larry is a pretty good bureaucratic infighter.”

  90. So the chairwoman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers quits after less than 2 years, thats really going to inspire confidence in Obama……..not

  91. And I want to know why the heck the press isn’t saying one word about MO’s tax-payer funded extravaganza in Spain!
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Why? Simple. But it is a secret so you must not tell.

    1. There is a man in Spain who is a dead ringer for Rex Harrison.

    I have it on good authority that he is teaching MO to say “the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain”.

    He is determined to make a lady out of her.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVmU3iANbgk

    2. And to all those skeptics out there, there is this:

    (Fortissimo)

    To dream the impossible dream . . .

    This is my quest-

    To follow that star-

    No matter how hopeless-

    No matter how far, etc.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVlAtMZAzeY&feature=related

    3. If he succeeds, then perhaps Jill Biden will show MO some respect.

  92. Romer has probably given Obama advice to do certain things to fix stuff.

    Obama probably ignored her advice and probably does not like advice from women and through his appointees, did precisely the opposite. As a result, we still have 10% unemployment and even the corporate and banking side of the recovery is as wobbly as jelly.

    You’d resign and piss off too.

  93. Brace yourself for it then, the man does nothing but lie…….

    CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama says he is confident the nation will not suffer the “double dip” of back-to-back recessions. The rebound of the U.S. economy appears to be slowing, prompting fears that the nation will slide into recession again after a brief period of growth. Obama told a CNBC interviewer he was confident that won’t happen.

  94. Hillary goes on to talk about actually using taxpayers’ money to “help homeowners refinance.”

    ———–
    If Hillary said, “Shadowfax, other people that own homes need some of your meager paycheck to help pay for their refinance and mortgage, although you never had the privilege to own YOUR own home.”

    I would say, “Sorry Hillary, I will not do it, even for you. Put me in jail, I don’t care, I will not give up a meal of my family to keep the Jone’s in the home they can’t afford. They can move into an apartment they can afford, just like I did.”

  95. Hey, Romer finally noticed!

    Summers is uber-brilliant with a real resume: Clinton cabinet, Pres of Harvard. Romer is a bot from Berkeley. She was hastily given Summers’ title — a Token Woman — when the NARAL types complained about something that Summers didn’t really say at Harvard.

    Of course it’s the really qualified person who gets the direct line — not the token.

    Not that Obama followed Summers’ advice either. He wanted a Hillary style Stimulus, that would have really helped people.

  96. “To Michelle, it’s insulting that Jill and Joe are always so casual around America’s first family.

    “Michelle believes Jill doesn’t respect her. What’s got her seething is that Jill doesn’t seem to treat Michelle with the reverence the first lady expects.

    “And it drives Michelle crazy!”
    ———–
    So MO hates Hillary, and hates Jill……….how long is the list of Dem women she hates?

    Maybe Jill could bow to MO and make an offering of a big box of sleeves with Velcro attachments to QueenMO.

  97. moononpluto
    August 5th, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    its official now

    Breaking News: Top Obama Economic Adviser Christina Romer Resigns

    per Fox
    ————–
    YUP, she is going back to teach at UC Berkeley, I guess the kool-aid wore off and she is worried about her reputation…

  98. If Hillary said, “Shadowfax,

    ==============

    Here’s more of what she actually said in the 2008 op-ed (re new HOLC) I cited above:

    “And if we are going to take on the mortgage debt of storied Wall Street giants, we ought to extend the same help to struggling, middle-class families.
    Second, American taxpayers should have a voice and a stake in the resolution of this market crisis. If the Treasury proposal is enacted in its current form, the American government would assume enough financial risk to become the majority shareholder in the companies rescued by taxpayer dollars.
    The American people are bearing the risk and therefore deserve to reap the rewards of a shared equity model. And mortgage securities bought by taxpayers must be valued accurately at prices disclosed in real time, with checks and reporting requirements to prevent abuse.
    Third, taxpayers are being asked to bear an unparalleled degree of financial risk.”

  99. My point is, even if Hillary says something I disagree with, I stick to my guns.

    Honestly, I don’t believe Hillary would force those with much less to pay for those with much more…like Barry does, and the Rethugs do, that want to hang on to the Bush tax cuts to the upper 1%.

    The 1% never needed the tax cut to begin with, but now the Rethugs scream if it is taken away…as if, they are the ones keeping jobs alive, BS, if that were true, we wouldn’t be in crisis right now.

  100. August 05, 2010
    Oh My: Moonbat Liberal Henry Waxman Gloats: The Good News Is That The Democrats Who Get Slaughtered In November Are the “Most Difficult” Ones To “Pull Into Line”
    Addition by subtraction!

    I believe Eric “Otter” Stratton had a keen observation about the perils of trusting someone.

    This quote would usually, I think, be inflammatory and cause all sorts of problems within the raucus caucus.

    But now? Gotta think that the fact that it’s true, and that these “difficult” Democrats now depend on the less-difficult ones to help them get lobbying jobs, makes it less of a thing that it otherwise would have been.

    Still… his gloating over screwing over more moderate Democrats and giggling about their impending ouster is unseemly.

    “I think a lot of the House seats we’re going to lose are those who have been the toughest for the Democrats to pull into line — the Democrats that have been the most difficult,” Waxman said.
    Waxman, one of the Democratic Party’s stalwarts, is simply voicing publicly what many in his party have said privately as the reality of the looming November elections sets in. If Democrats retain a majority, it will be smaller but more cohesive.

    He’s “simply” doing that? Protective much?

    As Waxman sees it, the fractious coalition of Democrats that House leaders have cobbled together to pass sweeping healthcare and energy bills is not markedly different from the bipartisanship of the past, when Democrats partnered with centrist and liberal Republicans, whom Waxman says are “practically nonexistent at the moment.”
    “We’ve been trying to get the Democratic conservatives together with the rest of the Democratic Party, so in effect we’ve gotten bipartisan support among Democrats in the House,” the chairman said with a laugh. “Now we’ll have to work on genuine bipartisanship in the future.”

    Laugh. Giggle.

    Hey wait — I thought they were trying to be bipartisan and it was the GOP acting as the Party of No…?

    Here we have Henry Waxman admitting that the only “bipartisanship” he practiced was liberal Democrats offering concessions to less-liberal Democrats — no actual bipartisanship extended to the other actual party.

    You’ll never see mention of this quote again.

    After all, he was “simply” publicly voicing what many Democrats concede in private (but which the MFM refuses to report).

  101. Confirmed: Democrats Planting Fake Tea Party Candidates On Ballot To Ensure Own Victory
    —Ace
    “Fake” sometimes, or real but very fringey.

    My fear about the Tea Party has always come down to just this, and the impulse of many who have fringey views — and feel, then, not included in regular major party politics — to use the banner of the “Tea Party” as a flag of convenience to get their not-taken-very-seriously ideas greater exposure. And for this sort of person, the fact that their candidacy insures a Democratic victory doesn’t matter; for the fringe, there really is no difference between the parties worth considering.

    So here’s your slate of “Tea Party” candidates, put on the ballots by the Democrats who you know have your best interests at heart.

    [E]vidence of campaign tampering in at least two states is hard to dismiss. In Michigan, the party chairman in suburban Detroit’s Oakland County now concedes that one of his top aides played a role in helping nine tea party candidates get onto the ballot for various offices across the state — including the open 1st Congressional District and the 7th Congressional District, held by vulnerable freshman Democratic Rep. Mark Schauer.

    Recruitment of so-called straw candidates or spoilers is a time-honored, if less than reputable, tradition in American politics. But in this case, some Democrats appear to be in cahoots with ideological adversaries whose ideas they hope to use as weapons against Republicans in the fall.

    Now, seven House seats are the subject of controversies that are spawning threats of lawsuits and criminal complaints and even pitting conservative tea party activists against one another.

    One of those activists is Jim Schneller, who is running to fill the suburban Philadelphia-based seat left vacant by Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

    The seat is among the Republicans’ top targets this fall, and the contest between Democratic state Rep. Bryan Lentz and Republican Pat Meehan is viewed as a tossup. The entry of a third- party candidate, however, could scramble that balance — which prompted Meehan’s campaign to scrutinize Schneller’s credentials.

    According to its analysis, 3,800 of the 4,200 voter signatures gathered to put Schneller on the ballot were collected by Democrats. And among those who helped the tea party candidate are Colleen Guiney, the chairwoman of the Swarthmore Democratic Party and a Lentz supporter, and Nicholas Allred, who works for the Swarthmore College Democrats.

    Bryan Kendro, Meehan’s campaign manager, accused Lentz’s backers of trying to “split the conservative vote by using Jim Schneller as nothing more than a prop.”

    In an interview with POLITICO, Schneller said he’s been disappointed by the Republican assault on his legitimacy. “My signatures were gathered by volunteers,” said Schneller. “We didn’t go around screening signatures or signors.”

    Schneller, who once filed a lawsuit to force President Obama to present his birth certificate, said he jumped into the race because he believes he can win it.

    “Being someone who believes in the American system, it was difficult to hear people say that I was conniving or actually colluding or even show some disdain for the fact that the vote [margin] could be changed by my candidacy,” he said.

    I can’t take it with this birth certificate crap anymore.

    I say that because I am just guessing here that he thinks giving that “issue” exposure is far more important than actual electoral politics. And, of course, he’ll have 5% of the public agreeing with him and pulling that lever.

    And won’t that be wonderful.

    It gets worse:

    Yet after the POLITICO interview, a reporter with PoliticsPA presented the Meehan evidence to Schneller, and he took a different tone, calling it “dreadful. I regret that there might be some appearance of badness either to me or the Democrats.”
    The secretary of state still must certify the Schneller petitions, and a Meehan spokesman said the campaign is still mulling a challenge.

    Challenges already are being lodged against some of the 23 candidates running as part of the newly minted Tea Party of Michigan.

    Even before the candidate roster was released last month, the suspicions of tea party activists had been aroused when they learned that the founding father of the new state party is Mark Steffek, a retired United Auto Workers steward.

    Among the candidates under scrutiny now are two currently vying for House seats.

    One is Danny Davis, a former soldier and police officer, who is running in a race that features a rematch between Schauer and Tim Walberg, the former GOP congressman he defeated in 2008 by just 7,432 votes — one of the closest races in the nation that year.

    The Michigan Tea Party’s other House candidate is Lonny Lee Snyder, who is running for the Republican-leaning district of retiring Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak, whose vote in support of health care reform angered his base and prompted his retirement.

    The race to succeed him is expected to be tight, which means Snyder’s third-party candidacy could have an impact. But there is scant information about the elusive candidate.

    Snyder doesn’t have a website, the Tea Party headquarters didn’t release biographical information about his candidacy, and grass-roots tea party activists say they have never heard of him. When POLITICO called his home number, a man who answered said Snyder wasn’t home.

    The mystery surrounding Snyder and other Michigan Tea Party candidates prompted some conservatives to do some digging. Jason Gillman, a local blogger with campaign experience, requested copies from state election officials of the “Affidavit of Identity” of all 23 candidates nominated by the new Tea Party.

    As he perused them, Gillman noticed that nine of the affidavits were notarized by a person named Jason Bauer. When Gillman searched the name on the Internet, he discovered that Bauer worked for the Oakland County Democratic Party — information he quickly disseminated to the local news media and the conservative think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

    As questions mushroomed, Steffek, the retired UAW steward, gave an interview to the local media, asserting that his new party and candidates are legitimate and his intentions pure. He said he joined the Tea Party ranks because of his disgust with big government and opposition to free-trade agreements.

    Gillman isn’t buying it.

    Neither am I.

    Know who you’re voting for. I’ll tell ya that. Know who you’re voting for. The “Tea Party” label means even less than the Republican Party label — at least you know that actual Republicans incorporated the local Republican Party.

    You don’t know that about any of these so-called “Tea Party” parties popping up coincidentally enough to field candidates in districts where the Democrats are in trouble.

    There’s more at the article, too — but I can’t excerpt it all. In Florida and NJ too, candidates who until recently were registered Democrats are suddenly fired-up “Tea Party” candidates.

  102. It’s always been about the end game
    __________________________________________

    The Long March Through Institutions: Holder’s Lawsuits Now Directing Defendants To Pay Big Money To ACORN-Type Groups
    (Who Sow The Seeds Of The Next Lawsuit, Of Course)

    —Ace
    I’m kind of getting into a Beck groove right now. I’m getting it.

    Not completely. But some. I can’t say these guys are following the revolutionary socialist playbook but they sure aren’t making any moves inconsistent with it, either.

    The other day JustKarl reminded his readers of “the long march through the institutions.”

    For Karl Marx, a capitalist society’s economic recessions and practical contradictions would provoke the working class to revolution in deposing capitalism — and then to restructuring the existing institutions (economic, political, social) per rational, socialist models; thus, beginning the transition to a communist society….
    To understand this, Gramsci posits a strategic distinction, between a War of Position and a War of Manoeuvre. The war of position is intellectual, a culture war in which the anti-capitalist politicians (communist leaders sponsors, socialist scholars, and ideological subversives) seek to have the dominant voice in the mass media, other mass organisations, and the schools (and actively conduct ideological subversion). Once achieved, this position will be used to increase class consciousness, teach revolutionary theory and analysis, and to inspire revolutionary organisation. On winning the intellectual war of position, communist leaders would then have the necessary political power and popular support to begin the war of manoeuvre — the armed insurrection against capitalism.

    The phrase “the long march through the institutions” is today commonly used in Marxist speech to refer to a war of position, alluding to the Long March of the Chinese Red Army in the 1930s.

    And the institutions of capitalism are now being compelled to directly subsidize the institutions of socialism, which will in turn be back in another couple of years for a fresh bite at the apple.

    In the past, when the Civil Rights Division filed suit against, say, a bank or a landlord, alleging discrimination in lending or rentals, the cases were often settled by the defendant paying a fine to the U.S. Treasury and agreeing to put aside a sum of money to compensate the alleged discrimination victims.
    There was then a search for those victims — people who were actually denied a loan or an apartment — who stood to be compensated. After everyone who could be found was paid, there was often money left over. That money was returned to the defendant.

    Now, Attorney General Eric Holder and Civil Rights Division chief Thomas Perez have a new plan. Any unspent money will not go back to the defendant but will instead go to a “qualified organization” approved by the Justice Department. And if there is not enough unspent money — that will be determined by the Department — then the defendant might be required to come up with more money to give to the “qualified organization.”

    The arrangement was used in a recently-settled case, United States v. AIG Federal Savings Bank and Wilmington Finance. [U]nder the terms of a March 19, 2010 consent decree, AIG agreed to pay $6.1 million to “aggrieved persons who may have suffered as a result of the alleged violations.”

    That is standard procedure in such cases. But then AIG also agreed, in the words of the consent decree, to “provide a minimum of $1,000,000 to qualified organization(s) to provide credit counseling, financial literacy, and other related educational programs targeted at African-American borrowers.” The money would come from unspent funds in the victim-compensation fund. But if it turned out that, after paying off the victims, there was less than $1 million left in the victim-compensation fund, AIG agreed to “replenish the settlement fund so that it contains $1,000,000 for distribution for those educational purposes.”

    The Department followed a similar procedure in another case, United States v. Sterling….

    The defendants did not admit any wrongdoing, and there was no factual finding of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, in a November 3, 2009 consent decree, the defendants agreed to pay $2.625 million to compensate alleged victims. On top of that, the consent decree stipulated that if there weren’t enough alleged victims on which to spend the $2.625 million, then what’s left “shall be distributed…to a qualified organization(s) mutually agreed upon by the United States and defendants…for the purpose of conducting fair housing enforcement or educational activities in Los Angeles County.”

    Hinojosa says that in the Sterling case, $40,000 will be split between the victim fund administrator and a group called the Southern California Housing Rights Center. According to the Center’s website, its goal is to promote “freedom of residence” through the use of “education, advocacy and litigation.” Thus, money used to settle a lawsuit over alleged discrimination might well go to fund yet another lawsuit over alleged discrimination.

    Nice.

  103. YUP, she is going back to teach at UC Berkeley, I guess the kool-aid wore off and she is worried about her reputation…
    ********
    I don’t think that she ever was part of the Wall Street trillion dollar bail out boyz club…ie Larry and Timmeh….Goolsbee is said to be the likely replacement…He is Obama’s Chicago BFF…he is the guy who reassured the Canadians that Obama was just talking “smack” about NAFTA. I also think that Romer wouldn’t buy into gutting SS….Goolsbee can’t wait to do it…

  104. jbstonesfan,

    Not sure if you heard about this…

    Rabbi Marvin Hier,
    Simon Wiesenthal Center Dean and Founder
    will appear on the Fox News show, Fox & Friends

    Friday, August 6, 2010,
    6:00 a.m EST

    to discuss the Ground Zero Mosque Controversy.

  105. For the second night, Hannity has had his Fruit of the Looms in a wad about a town using spy tech to check backyards to see if someone has a pool and they’ve not declared it. Sean was carrying on about the gov. being able to see into his backyard to see if he’s wearing a speedo or his wife a bikini. People’s privacy and his are being abused!

    Dave “Mud Cat” Saunders was on the panel and told Sean something like…Welcome to the Patriot Act. Those freedoms were given up during the Bush years. Sean wouldn’t even deal with that and quickly changed the subject. Finally someone shut Hannity up on a subject. LOL

    Hannity was very condesending to through the whole thing to Mud Cat for everything from his nickname to his working for John Edwards during his presidential bid.

  106. Well I don’t know who “Mud Cat” is but if he worked for John Edwards I will take his advise with a grain of salt. I thought John was uberhandsome (and apparently so did he!), but it was pretty clear very early 2008 that he was bought and paid for. That being said, he is spot on about the Patriot act.
    **************

    Shadowfox
    Do you mean Henry Nostrils?

    Yes! What a slimeball. If Bill would just be campaigning for a few Dem’s I could handle it, but Reid? Come on Bill.

    *
    **************
    Janh…good to know. I will be at work but will watch on stream

    Rabbi Marvin Hier,
    Simon Wiesenthal Center Dean and Founder
    will appear on the Fox News show, Fox & Friends

    Friday, August 6, 2010,
    6:00 a.m EST

  107. THIS IS AMERICA YOU FU*&^% AS*HO88
    HANH UM HIGH I SAY. LADIES, TIME TO LOCK AND LOAD IF WE CAN NOT BE PROTECTED IN OUR ONW COURTS!
    *****************

    Judge’s Ruling Sparks Fears of Shariah in U.S.

    Aug 05, 2010 9:09 PM EDT

    (page 1 of 6) View Entire Story

    A New Jersey family court judge’s decision not to grant a restraining order to a woman who was sexually abused by her Moroccan husband and forced repeatedly to have sex with him is sounding the alarm for advocates of laws designed to ban Shariah in America.

    Judge Joseph Charles, in denying the restraining order to the woman after her divorce, ruled that her ex-husband felt he had behaved according to his Muslim beliefs — and that he did not have “criminal desire to or intent to sexually assault” his wife.

    According to the court record, the man’s wife — a Moroccan woman who had recently immigrated to the U.S. at the time of the attacks — alleged:

    “Defendant forced plaintiff to have sex with him while she cried. Plaintiff testified that defendant always told her “this is according to our religion. You are my wife, I c[an] do anything to you. The woman, she should submit and do anything I ask her to do.”

    …… Rest of story at foxnews.com

  108. You can’t make this shit up:

    “August 3, 2010 01:59 PM

    Despite President Obama’s pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia.

    Following their training, the tech workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent’s low labor costs.

    Under director Rajiv Shah, the United States Agency for International Development will partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka to teach workers there advanced IT skills like Enterprise Java (Java EE) programming, as well as skills in business process outsourcing and call center support. USAID will also help the trainees brush up on their English language proficiency.
    (snip)

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/integration/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=226500202

  109. Larry Fink’s $12 Trillion Shadow
    Though few Americans know his name, Larry Fink may be the most powerful man in the post-bailout economy. His giant BlackRock money-management firm controls or monitors more than $12 trillion worldwide—including the balance sheets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the toxic A.I.G. and Bear Stearns assets taken over by the U.S. government last year. How did Fink rebound from a humiliating failure to become the financial fulcrum of Washington and Wall Street? Through a series of interviews, the author probes his role in the crisis, his unique risk-assessment system, and the growing concern he inspires.
    http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/04/fink-201004

    I posted this first paragraph of the above article earlier but it went into moderation. It scares me a lot that one man would have control of so much. Larry Fink also owns the company, based in Illinois, which manufactures Corexit and he is the major owner of BP – US interests. I find this really scary.

  110. Hmm, no offense to anyone, but please – do not attach Hillary’s name to capricious indulgences of economic sophistry, just because one may think they might share some superficial, surface similarities. I am a pretty easy-going person, but if there is one thing I do not stand for, it’s seeing Hillary’s good name maligned in this way.

    Hillary would never call for eliminating 75% of a 100,000 loan. How do I know this? Because it’s not what the original HLOC was, at all, about! The HLOC that Hillary called to be brought back did not do away with such a huge amount of the mortgage risk. On the contrary, historical data shows that the old HLOC refinanced underwater mortgages at 93% of their value. For example – a 10,000 loan (as an aside, I always have to laugh bemusedly when I look at numbers from the 1920’s and 30’s, so few zeros)…anyway, a 10,000 loan that the HLOC renegotiated, would then be valued at $9300. It would NOT be reduced to 2500.

    Further, the old HLOC did not just — as some have suggested should be an option on the table — “magic wand” away the difference in loan amount, leaving the lenders holding the bag. Instead, it gave lenders government issued bonds, with interest, in return for renegotiating the terms of the loans.

    So, the HLOC helped make payments easier for homeowners, but it also did as much as it could to make the lenders whole as well. One whimsical flight of economic fancy, without consideration of the overall ramifications was not replaced with another – no eye for eye, no tit-for-tat here – instead, it worked out a solution that helped BOTH parties in the equation. The HLOC fashioned a pragmatic solution out of very tenuous circumstances. Which brings me to my final point – pragmatism, you say? Working to help ALL involved in the situation? Hmm, who does that remind you of?

    Yep, you guessed it. That, ladies and gentleman, is the beauty of Hillary Clinton. She doesn’t stoop to the level of vacillating between one extreme or the other – she takes very difficult circumstances and from those circumstances, fashions a SOLUTION which will help everyone involved. Hillary knows that a vibrant economy is important to our country’s well being, but she also knows that we have to take care of our people first as well. It’s never been an Either/Or binary for her.

    Hillary dares to dream that we can, really, have it all, and that is one of many reasons why I am proud to still be one of her supporters.

  111. Yup Fifth – I agree and am proud to have supported Hillary from way back when to the end of her career. She is my JFK.
    Run Hillary, run!!

  112. I received the below information on the DOE in an email. I don’t know if it is true, but if it is, I wonder how much our dependence on oil has reduced. I don’t think much. If so, they sure have not accomplished their job.

    ——————————————-

    Does anybody have any memory of the reason given for the establishment of
    the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter Administration?

    Anybody?
    Anything?
    No?
    I didn’t think so!

    Bottom line …
    We have spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency …the
    reason for which not one person who reads this can remember. Ready???????

    It was very simple ..

    In addition, at the time everybody thought it very appropriate… The
    ‘Department of Energy’ was instituted on 8-04-1977 TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE
    ON FOREIGN OIL.

    Hey, pretty efficient, huh?????

    NOW its 2010, 33 years later…and the budget for this necessary department
    is at $24.2 billion a year. It has 16,000 federal employees and
    approximately 100,000 contract employees and look at the job it has done!
    This is where you slap your forehead and say ‘what was I thinking?”

    Ah, yes, good old bureaucracy…

    Now we are going to turn the Banking System, Health Care and the Auto
    Industry over to the government.
    ALL IN THE NAME OF CHANGE

  113. NMF: So the DOE is a valuable entitlement for Swamp at DC. Let’s drain the swamps. All of them, one by one.
    admin: The subject of the mosque being established is abhorrent to people who value character and morality. Thanks for presenting the topic and explaining how it presents a difficulty for dear chuck. I do hope Chuckie gets his head handed to him in November.
    Here’s more question about Obamacare:
    Great Uncertainty on Medicare Cuts
    snip
    The trustees report openly expressed some skepticism about those [Medicare] savings, saying there is “great uncertainty” about the assumptions on Medicare cuts. For instance, the health care law assumes some $200 billion in savings from productivity gains alone. The trustees called that “far from certain.” Those and other assumptions draw fire from several directions, including John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis. He says extending the life of Medicare would be good news. “The problem is it’s all a fantasy. It’s based on assumptions that are so unrealistic that Medicare’s own actuaries put out a separate report today, and I’ve never seen that happen before.” In fact, the office of the actuary of Medicare, a nonpolitical watchdog, issued a separate 18-page report today questioning many of the assumptions used to justify $575 billion in cuts to Medicare. They quote an analysis saying cuts to providers — quote– “could jeopardize Medicare beneficiaries access to mainstream medical care….” In the next two decades, they say cuts could also force into the red 25% of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and home health care agencies. And many, they said, “would have to withdraw from providing services to Medicare beneficiaries.” The actuaries said they talked with several prominent health economists, and “all of them believed that the payment reductions were unsustainable.” “Half the funding for health reform is paid for by cutting spending on elderly,” says John Goodman, “and the way they’re going to cut spending is by squeezing the doctors and squeezing the hospitals.” snip
    h t t p://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/08/05/great-uncertainty-medicare-cuts?test=latestnews

  114. Jobs Picture Worsens With 131,000 Losses; 9.5% Rate

    U.S. employment fell for a second straight month in July as more temporary census jobs ended while private hiring rose less than expected, pointing to an anemic economic recovery.

    Non-farm payrolls fell 131,000 the Labor Department said on Friday as temporary jobs to conduct the decennial census dropped by 143,000.

    Private employment, considered a better gauge of labor market health, rose 71,000 after increasing 31,000 in June. In addition, the government revised payrolls for May and June to show 97,000 fewer jobs than previously reported.

    Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast overall employment falling 65,000 and private-sector hiring increasing 90,000.

    The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent in July for a second straight month, just below market expectations for a rise to 9.6 percent. The steady jobless rate largely reflected a drop in the labor force as discouraged workers gave up the search for jobs.

  115. NOW its 2010, 33 years later…and the budget for this necessary department
    is at $24.2 billion a year
    ********
    Just a quick look at their budget…it appears that at least $16 billion is nuclear weapons related and reactors for US Navy ships and subs. More billions for civilian nuclear. At least $4 billion for “science” both civilian and weapons related. I remember when the DOE was created; the major component was the “old” Atomic Energy Commission but also it tried to organize all of the separate Federal agencies responsible for hydro power, natural gas distrib., electric power, fossil fuels, strategic oil reserve, etc.. Whether combining all of that stuff into the DOE was a good idea, I have no idea.

  116. Having balanced a few budgets, I know there is always a plug figure that we use to make it work, usually on the income side. Savings from productivity gain is a number you guess at, so you can put what ever number you want in there to balance the budget.

  117. the government revised payrolls for May and June to show 97,000 fewer jobs than previously reported.
    *********
    I don’t think that the gov’t jobs stats are ever revised in the other direction. It’s always a “foot note” that “we inflated the jobs created by “X”tens of thousands.

  118. Are these teachers in Wisconsin insane, or just horny? I say this in the best way because I taught in the public schools for more than20 years. I personally have no problem with medical treatment for heart trouble, prostate trouble and other ‘real’ health issues, but almost $1million for recreational sex at taxpayer expense????? Give me a break. And that is not even to mention that the education system continues to fail school children. What are you thinking Wisconsin teacher union?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/06/despite-budget-cuts-layoff-fears-milwaukee-teachers-fight-taxpayer-funded/?test=latestnews

  119. Shortermer, as a public school teacher, too (38 years), I am disgusted and embarrassed when I see articles like the one you posted just as I am when I hear about a teacher having sex with a student. What were they thinking! It easily becomes the ol’ one rotten apple in the barrel taints the rest situation and it’s aggravating to those of us who are hard working and who go the extra mile for our students.

    On the other hand I’m also disgusted at FOX, some Republicans and others who love to spout about teachers and teacher unions. In my state we were not allowed to unionize and strike so I’ve never been personally involved. But I’ve wondered why they consider teachers and teachers’ unions so vile compared to the happenings with SEIU and other unions, politicians, Wall Street, and the business world.

    It would seem that in some cases teachers have been used by politicians for years to rile up the public, gain support and get votes.

  120. Annals of executive overreach

    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Last week, a draft memo surfaced from the Department of Homeland Security suggesting ways to administratively circumvent existing law to allow several categories of illegal immigrants to avoid deportation and, indeed, for some to be granted permanent residency. Most disturbing was the stated rationale. This was being proposed “in the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” In other words, because Congress refuses to do what these bureaucrats would like to see done, they will legislate it themselves.

    Regardless of your feelings on the substance of the immigration issue, this is not how a constitutional democracy should operate. Administrators administer the law, they don’t change it. That’s the legislators’ job.

    When questioned, the White House played down the toxic memo, leaving the impression that it was nothing more than ruminations emanating from the bowels of Homeland Security. But the administration is engaged in an even more significant power play elsewhere.

    A 2007 Supreme Court ruling gave the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate carbon emissions if it could demonstrate that they threaten human health and the environment. The Obama EPA made precisely that finding, thereby granting itself a huge expansion of power and, noted The Post, sending “a message to Congress.”

    It was not a terribly subtle message: Enact cap-and-trade legislation — taxing and heavily regulating carbon-based energy — or the EPA will do so unilaterally. As Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch noted, such a finding “is likely to help light a fire under Congress to get moving.”

    Well, Congress didn’t. Despite the “regulatory cudgel” (to again quote The Post) the administration has been waving, the Senate has repeatedly refused to acquiesce.

    Good for the Senate. But what to do when the executive is passively aggressive rather than actively so? Take border security. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) reports that President Obama told him about pressure from his political left and its concern that if the border is secured, Republicans will have no incentive to support comprehensive reform (i.e., amnesty). Indeed, Homeland Security’s abandonment of the “virtual fence” on the southern border, combined with its lack of interest in completing the real fence that today covers only one-third of the border, gives the distinct impression that serious border enforcement is not a high administration priority absent some Republican quid pro quo on comprehensive reform.

    But border enforcement is not something to be manipulated in return for legislative favors. It is, as the administration vociferously argued in court in the Arizona case, the federal executive’s constitutional responsibility. Its job is to faithfully execute the laws. Non-execution is a dereliction of duty.

    This contagion of executive willfulness is not confined to the federal government or to Democrats. In Virginia, the Republican attorney general has just issued a ruling allowing police to ask about one’s immigration status when stopped for some other reason (e.g., a traffic violation). Heretofore, police could inquire only upon arrest and imprisonment.

    Whatever your views about the result, the process is suspect. If police latitude regarding the interrogation of possible illegal immigrants is to be expanded, that’s an issue for the legislature, not the executive.

    How did we get here? I blame Henry Paulson. (Such a versatile sentence.) The gold standard of executive overreach was achieved the day he summoned the heads of the country’s nine largest banks and informed them that henceforth the federal government was their business partner. The banks were under no legal obligation to obey. But they know the capacity of the federal government, when crossed, to cause you trouble, endless trouble. They complied.

    So did BP when the president summoned its top executives to the White House to demand a $20 billion federally administered escrow fund for damages. Existing law capped damages at $75 million. BP, like the banks, understood the power of the U.S. government. Twenty billion it was.

    Again, you can be pleased with the result (I was) and still be troubled by how we got there. Everyone wants energy in the executive (as Alexander Hamilton called it). But not lawlessness. In the modern welfare state, government has the power to regulate your life. That’s bad enough. But at least there is one restraint on this bloated power: the separation of powers. Such constraints on your life must first be approved by both houses of Congress.

    That’s called the consent of the governed. The constitutional order is meant to subject you to the will of the people’s representatives, not to the whim of a chief executive or the imagination of a loophole-seeking bureaucrat.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/05/AR2010080505140.html

  121. Jan–thanks for posting that article by Sir Charles Krauthammer. I am a huge fan of him, but I understand that others feel he is partisan. To a degree he leans Republican even though originally he is a Carter democrat, which may tell you how far the Democratic Party has drifted from first principles. But whether you like him or not, nobody who lives in the same world as most of us can deny the clarity of his thinking and in general the sound nature of his analysis. The difference between him and someone like that little bespectacled nerd EJ Dionne who works for the same newspaper and never had a profound thought in his life is the difference between day and night, sunlight and darkness, sound analysis and pure unadulterated bullshit masquerading as journalism. Meanwhile Spy Magazine used to do that feature joined at birth. I can see Frank Rich and Ed Schultz in that category, likewise Bill Maher and a Canadian Honker, with endless apologies to the goose population of North American who is certain to protest the ugly and defamatory comparison.

  122. Yes JanH…the LAF killed the brave IDF soldier and it was premeditated murder, yet, no calls for an Int’l investigation or shows outrage. Disappointingly, the state dept calls both sides to use maximum restraint!!! Both sides when one side is guilty of unprovoked killing.

  123. Ya gotta love Michelle, as she spreads her message of good will and high living throughout the world. When asked how could she indulge herself in this manner while so many Americans have lost their jobs and struggling to get by, the humble first lady and Jackie O impersonator was heard to say–oh, them? Well, if they have no bread, let them eat Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cake and support the economy of the Grand Cayman Islands. Now there is a good neighbor policy we can all agree with.
    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Michelle Obama’s Spain Trip Controversy
    Updated: Friday, 06 Aug 2010, 11:40 AM EDT
    Published : Friday, 06 Aug 2010, 11:39 AM EDT

    (CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) – First Lady Michelle Obama is being criticized as “living large” as she vacations in Spain with daughter Sasha during tough economic times.

    The White House has called a “private trip” and one on which Obama and her friends are paying their own way.

    But New York Daily News blogger Andrea Tantaros, a former congressional staffer for Republican lawmakers, writes that it doesn’t set the best example as she and what Tantaros said is “40 of her closest friends” stay in 60 to 70 rooms in a pricey resort. There is also the expense of the Secret Service entourage that follows her everywhere.

    “Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times,” Tantaros wrote. She is calling the first lady a “modern-day Marie Antoinette,” a reference to the French queen who spent lavishly on clothes and jewels without worrying about her subjects’ plight.

    There is also the number of vacations.

    According to the Chicago Sun-Times , by the end of the summer that will total eight this year. That has included New York in March, Chicago, their hometown, over Memorial Day, Los Angeles in June, Camp David in July, Maine in July where they visited Acadia National Park, and now Spain. Coming up is a trip to the Florida Gulf Coast on Aug. 14, said to be meant to encourage tourists who may be hesitant to travel to the coast because of the BP oil spill, and 10 days in Martha’s Vineyard starting Aug. 19.

    The Sun-Times said the First Lady visited Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia on an official visit, but the rest of the trip was considered private.

    The New York Daily News said the Spaniards aren’t complaining. Salvador Banner, described as the Daily News as a “local tourism honcho,” said their presence provided an economic boost that is “impossible to quantify.”

    Others are looking for the same benefit such as tourism officials in Panama City who hope the future trip draws tourists back to the Gulf coast.

    As far as the White House response, the Sun-Times reported that press secretary Robert Gibbs said that Michelle Obama and her daughter are on a private trip.

    The Los Angeles Times said that a White House official said a “small” group of friends and “minimal” staff went on the trip. The exact number is not being given as the White House refers to security concerns.

  124. Southern Born, I feel your pain. I and others were pretty much ‘enticed’ to join the teachers’ union. My daughter is a long time teacher and in political races for say, Superintendent, she has been enticed to campaign for the current guy, even though she voted differently. So, I can see clearly why the unions are vilified. And even to date, when an election is close and discussed she has been asked by other teachers, “How in this world can you support ????? and not support and vote for the Democrat? You can not call yourself a teacher if you do not vote Democrat.”

    Plus, the union(s) have sold a bill of goods to the teachers with their most excellent retirement system. These legacy costs are not sustainable, so she may not even have a retirement fund when she attains retirement age.The unions KNEW they were not sustainable from the get-go; they are kind of like a ponzi scheme. However, the judges and state troopers have joined the teacher retirement from my home state because it is so good. The retirment and great insurance used to be an attraction to get teachers in place and paid at such a low salary compared to their peers in other fields of work.

  125. isnt it wonderful that America can burn while Michelle “60 rooms” Obama enjoys her 8th holiday of the year, while normal americans can barely afford to keep a home let alone go on a holiday.

  126. Southern Born, one more point, teachers have perennially been used as scare tactics around election time, or tax raising time, or time to vote for the lottery or liquor.
    So have policemen and firefighters. They threaten to lay off, and sometimes do with the non tenured and then hire most of them back, these because it does frighten people. After this ploy was administered the second time in my lifetime I saw it for what it was – coersion. It is only the sheeple who believe it.

  127. moononpluto, agreed. I think this is her own version of redistribution of weatlth – from our pockets to hers.

  128. Two reporters engage in a heated exchange with black conservative leaders at a press conference at the National Press Club on August 4, 2010 challenging the NAACP on its charges of racism within the tea party.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GizNwzKo3n8

    Reporters vs. Conservative Black Leaders at Press Conference 8 4 2010

  129. Interesting article

    http://www.counterpunch.org/wilkins08022010.html

    The Story of Annie Hawkins and New Communities, Inc.
    The Other Side of Shirley Sherrod
    By RON WILKINS

    Imagine farm workers doing back breaking labor in the sweltering sun, sprayed with pesticides and paid less than minimum wage. Imagine the United Farm Workers called in to defend these laborers against such exploitation by management. Now imagine that the farm workers are black children and adults and that the managers are Shirley Sherrod, her husband Rev. Charles Sherrod, and a host of others. But it’s no illusion; this is fact.

    The swirling controversy over the racist dismissal of Shirley Sherrod from her USDA post has obscured her profoundly oppositional behavior toward black agricultural workers in the 1970s. What most of Mrs. Sherrod’s supporters are not aware of is the elitist and anti-black-labor role that she and fellow managers of New Communities Inc. (NCI) played. These individuals under-paid, mistreated and fired black laborers–many of them less than 16 years of age–in the same fields of southwest Georgia where their ancestors suffered under chattel slavery.

    SNIP-

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