Patterico's Pontifications

9/29/2008

Community Organizers and the Money Lenders

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:14 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

Stanley Kurtz explains how ACORN and Chicago community organizers like Madeline Talbott, an activist with “extensive ties to Barack Obama,” intimidated financial institutions to make shaky mortgage loans to minorities with bad credit. As Kurtz summarized it:

“In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.
***
IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mortgage crisis, look to ACORN’s Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

Then you’ll truly know what community organizers do.”

Liberals often compare Obama to Jesus, claiming they were both community organizers. In my Bible, Jesus kicked the money lenders out of the temple. I guess liberals think He invited them in and did business.

H/T daleyrocks.

— DRJ

89 Responses to “Community Organizers and the Money Lenders”

  1. I don’t know how Kurtz manages to be such an obtuse moron. First, it was the librarians who were threatening his god-given rights to look through the CAC file, and after he found nothing, now he proceeds on the profoundly misleading and wrong notion that the credit meltdown is entirely based on the lending of money and issuance of mortgages to poor people (Read: Blacks)through the CRA. When the majority of the Sub prime mortgages were issued by lightly regulated independent mortgage brokers or utterly unregulated independent mortgage banks. Yet, he spouts off this most common denominator Rush Limbaugh stuff.

    How does this guy even get to where he is as a Senior fellow for the ethics and Public Policy institute and a writer at the National Review Online, with such a superficial understanding of the issues and performing such shameless partisan hack jobs is beyond me.

    This tripe is just shameless bullsh*t and it’s no wonder it’s in the NY POST.

    Why doesn’t Kurtz and other the right wingers pushing this foul racist meme about the CRA and the Democrats ask themselves the following question: Where was the 109th GOP majority COngress and the Bush White house in 2001 to 2007, when the first signs of this debacle began to how themselves? Did they not see it? If the Republicans are so the party of responsibility and integrity why didn’t they deal with this when they could’ve passed any legislation they wanted too? Why is that??

    I’ll tell you why. Because they didn’t care. They were in thrall to the magical thinking that the market is all knowing and all powerful and all healing and it can be plundered recklessly and wealth will continue to pour out of it forever regardless of how it is abused and rigged.

    So more propaganda continues.

    My 2 cents.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  2. Kurtz and other the right wingers pushing this foul racist meme about the CRA and the Democrats

    That didn’t take long.

    In short: Racists!

    It’s good to see Peter finally admit his motivations, however –
    So more propaganda continues. My 2 cents.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  3. How Fanny/Freddie regulators were treated.

    Yeah, it’s all propaganda. Entirely.

    Al (b624ac)

  4. “Where was the 109th GOP majority COngress and the Bush White house in 2001 to 2007, when the first signs of this debacle began to how themselves? Did they not see it? If the Republicans are so the party of responsibility and integrity why didn’t they deal with this when they could’ve passed any legislation they wanted too? Why is that??”

    They were watching to see how much of a tantrum the left would engage in. And now we’re seeing it, with Frank and Dodd telling us there’s nothing wrong.

    As always, the Repub’s have to clean up the poop piles the Dem’s leave behind.

    Sharpshooter (aa1ea1)

  5. Chicago community organizers like Madeline Talbott, an activist with “extensive ties to Barack Obama,” intimidated financial institutions to make shaky mortgage loans

    If these community organizers are so powerful and scary, and able to control banks so well, how come they aren’t making the banks lend money NOW.

    I don’t doubt that government gave banks an opportunity to make bad loans, or even rewarded those who made bad loans. But there was no arm-twisting, as far as I can see.

    If the government is able to “intimidate” banks, why aren’t banks handing out money like candy anymore? The government is still trying to cajol them into lending. Why have they stopped? Because they have free will, and are perfectly capable of making prudent decisions if they think rationally.

    Now, I’m not saying that government and these “community organizers” weren’t irresponsible, too. But come on — we’re talking about the brightest minds in the finance industry, being paid millions of dollars each, who saw the writing on the wall but ignored it. And you want to blame the whole thing on some overly utopian do-gooder community activists “intimidating” these bankers? That’s either a lame-ass excuse, or simply a deliberate attemt to distort reality.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  6. Peter – Your race card is no good here. Do some research. Subprime is a category based on FICO scores and not automatically raced based. Alt-A loans, also a source of problems, can involve documentation flaws. I know you need to protect your narrative, but the facts are against you. It must suck when that happens.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  7. “I don’t doubt that government gave banks an opportunity to make bad loans, or even rewarded those who made bad loans. But there was no arm-twisting, as far as I can see.”

    Phil – If you don’t see it you are either blind or not reading closely enough. Protests in bank lobbies, headline news stories on TV, front page stories in newspapers, mergers held up because of poor CRA records, are all powerful arm twisting mechanisms. What part of that don’t you understand Phil. It happened. I saw it personnally here in Chicago. It was very very ugly.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  8. Wasn’t Pol Pot a community organizer?

    Ropelight (1be620)

  9. If you don’t see it you are either blind or not reading closely enough. Protests in bank lobbies, headline news stories on TV, front page stories in newspapers, mergers held up because of poor CRA records

    The same sort of tactics have used by organized labor. Yet somehow, the CEOs et al managed to not get so greedy that they completely bankrupted their companies falling all over themselves to create unions.

    The community organizers wanted more loans for minorities and the poor, sure. But they weren’t the ones making the decisions, and the banks, like all large corporations, are perfectly capable of dealing with the sorts of “intimidation” used by the organizers.

    And any way, what if the banks WERE intimidated by community organizers into creating this mess. That seriously doesn’t make them look any less at fault. What kind of morons get intimidated into causing a financial meltdown by some protestors with signs in their lobbies?

    Ignoring screaming protestors crying out for “fairness” is what capitalists do best, and they do it all over the world. You can’t tell me that these bankers were so frail they couldn’t handle some accusations of classism and racism.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  10. Peter will get his astroturf bonus for being first in line to spew his comments, but there were many attempts by Bush and the Republicans, including McCain, to rein this in, all stymied by Democrat legislators, political correctness, and community organizers LIKE OBAMA who brought law suits against those banks.

    As for Kurtz’s info on the CAC file (after it was sanitized) he still makes a compelling case that Ayers was not just a guy who lived down the street, but rather a close mentor and supporter of Obama’s political asperations. Funny how all of Obama’s connections are hard left, if not socialist or communist. This may be to Peter’s liking – as this financial posturing is being used by people like him to implement the Cloward- Piven strategy, the next level for Saul Alinsky socialists.

    skeeter (08f4b4)

  11. Phil,

    I don’t know if lenders are making many mortgage loans now but I suspect most of them have tightened their criteria significantly. IMO one point of Kurtz’s article was that these lenders didn’t have free will because the laws required them to include in their portfolios a specified amount of loans to high-risk markets.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  12. You should first understand the history of Penny Pritzker (Obama’s chief fundraiser and arm – twister) and her failed bank here, Phil:

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/04/obamas_billionaire_finance_cha.html

    The root of much of our current financial problems are encapsulated by Pritzker’s behavior while leading Superior Bank down the road to ruin.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  13. The same sort of tactics have used by organized labor.

    What kind of morons get intimidated into causing a financial meltdown by some protestors with signs in their lobbies?

    Phil – You’re obviously not paying attention. When your home office is on one of the busiest street corners in downtown Chicago having protestors disrupt your traffic flow is not good for business if customers have the option of taking their business elsewhere. Being in the news everyday for their racially insensitive lending practices. It’s called blackmail Phil. Plus they’ve got the heavy hand of government mandated lending quotas from the CRA now to point to. There is no equivalence to your union organizing analogy.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  14. “I don’t doubt that government gave banks an opportunity to make bad loans, or even rewarded those who made bad loans. But there was no arm-twisting, as far as I can see.”

    Then see see here.

    Obama represented Calvin Roberson in a 1994 lawsuit against Citibank, charging the bank systematically denied mortgages to African-American applicants and others from minority neighborhoods.

    Pablo (99243e)

  15. I read the Los Angeles Times every day and I’m still waiting for the first mention of ACORN in their campaign coverage. Surely ACORN is not any less culpable for the sub-prime meltdown than Rick Davis’ firm. Why hammer away at the latter story and ignore the former?

    Aldo (4ca181)

  16. Pablo – It’s that magic progressive world view. Phil only sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  17. Interestingly, there’s a study out there that says that banks regulated by the CRA were a lot less likely to make high-risk loans than banks not regulated by the CRA. See here

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  18. Phil, please stop ignoring the links presented and actually read them before posting more blather. Thank you.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  19. the commie pinkoes like peter and phil dont care about freedom. they only care that there COMMUNIST ideology of there heroes OBAMA STALIN MAO CASTRO CHAVEZ HO CHI MINH CHE GUEVERRA AND PUTIN WINS. Other than that,they think freedom can go down the drain. Personally-its you COMMIE HATE AMERICA SCUM who can go down the crapper.

    kevinhastings (1fd334)

  20. I saw that study alluded to in #17

    The statistics seem funny, but I do agree that laying the whole mess on CRA isn’t right.
    Just their share would be OK.

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  21. Dmac, I’ve read all the links. Stop believing the allegations in links without question, and start actually thinking critically. Thank you.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  22. Peter and Phil correctly pointed out how racist you people are. I am just waiting for you to reinstate redlining and slavery.

    JD (5f0e11)

  23. Stop believing the allegations in links without question,

    They’re not allegations, but provable facts. Do you understand the difference? I don’t believe you read the links, and that you’re also not interested in reading anything further about the bank failure. You’re not an honest commenter here, that much we know.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  24. Obama represented Calvin Roberson in a 1994 lawsuit against Citibank, charging the bank systematically denied mortgages to African-American applicants and others from minority neighborhoods.

    Pablo, there’s a difference between requiring a bank to make BAD loans, and suing the bank for not making good loans simply because the borrowers were minorities.

    Was the suit Obama helped on brought under the CRA, or under the Civil Rights Act? It sounds more like a basic racial discrimination suit to me.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  25. Dmac, the allegation that banks were “intimidated” is just that, an allegation. It’s not a fact.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  26. I don’t believe you read the links, and that you’re also not interested in reading anything further about the bank failure.

    Dmac, relax. You seriously misunderstand where I’m coming from. I read the links and I’m as interested as anyone I know in finding out what’s going on with the current crisis.

    I’m very suspicious of nice, easy solutions like “it was all the fault of liberal community organizers” especially when they’re being promulgated by people who don’t like community organizers anyway, and would be willing to believe that said community organizers were to blame for just about anything.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  27. Phil – I think you’ve got the wrong spin on that Traiger study. If they are CRA banks, their reports are going to scrutinized for gouging, etc. Look at the charts from that perspective.

    Who doesn’t like community organizers?

    Where is Senator ACORN anyway? Has he weighed in yet?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  28. Dmac, the allegation that banks were “intimidated” is just that, an allegation. It’s not a fact.

    Phil – They’re just allegations that happen to be true, but that bank executives are too embarrassed to admit publicly. It’s sort of like admitting you fell for Al Sharpton’s shakedown racket to end threatened product boycotts. You decided to “work with him” and bought a few $10,000 tables at a few events, but it’s not really a “shakedown.” Open your eyes Phil.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  29. daily, I don’t have any particular spin on that study, I just thought it was interesting. It does show, however, that there are a lot fewer defaults on loans by CRA banks than others — meaning that somehow, even with the CRA, those banks managed to avoid making bad loans more often than their competitors.

    None of this is in any way a defense of the CRA; I have no interest in forcing banks to loan money to people. Further, I think Obama’s responses to the current crisis have been terrible. But twisting this crisis into a neat little package in which liberal do-gooders caused the collapse of the American economy is just way to convenient. It’s very convenient for pro-McCain folks, and nobody who likes McCain is going to disagree with it, but it’s incredibly simplistic and unrealistic.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  30. Phil,

    Problems like this are like a staircase. I may be able to jump one or two steps but I can’t jump from the bottom to the top in one bound.

    Similarly, while a factor may not have been the sole cause of a problem, it can still be an important element of why the problem occurred.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  31. Of course, DRJ, and if the linked opinion columns (which Dmac worshipfully cites as “facts”) spoke of this as simply a step on a staircase, I wouldn’t be calling shenanigans right now.

    But no, instead you get an image of these evil communitiy organizers sneaking up behind the unwitting U.S. banking system, and pushing it into failure:

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

    Give me a break. That’s hardly an objective analysis there.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  32. Phile Under Uneasy Listening –

    — And where does anyone say that “it was all the fault of liberal community organizers”?

    This liberal disease of absolutism is incredible! It always becomes a matter of all or nothing on every issue. No one said the community organizers were the only cause BUT, because someone dared to allege that they were part of the problem, that’s enough for Phil to immediately jump to the extreme and claim that the critics are blaming the whole thing on community organizers. And then there’s Peter, who wrote: “now [Kurtz] proceeds on the profoundly misleading and wrong notion that the credit meltdown is entirely based on the lending of money and issuance of mortgages to poor people (Read: Blacks)through the CRA.” In addition to playing the race card he specifically chose the word “entirely”, even though in the excerpt quoted by DRJ, Kurtz writes “community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans.” Saying that they “help”, ie. ‘contribute to the problem’, is a lot different than saying they are wholly responsible for it.

    But in the liberal world of absolutism (“Imagine there’s NO religion … NO countries … NO Hell below us, above us ONLY sky”; remember, unless the world is totally perfect — it’s totally shit) if you dare to label something as part of the problem you might as well claim that it is the entire problem. It’s that exactly-right/exactly-wrong philosophy that leads them to claim racism, sexism, or any other kind of bigotry at the drop of a hat.

    And, of course, when it’s convenient they use the same tactic in assessing blame. If you listen to them, EVERY negative aspect of the economy is due to the policies and practices of the administration for the last eight years; as if Bush and company inherited a pristine nation (absolute) and proceeded to completely trash it (absolute).

    Icy Truth (1afea2)

  33. Phil – Think about it this way. The subprime loans carry a demonstrably higher default rate than prime loans over time. One way to compensate for that default risk is to charge a higher rate of interest on subprime loans, which is something that typically occurs. If a bank did not think it could charge a high enough rate of interest on those loans to offset its risks, the rational decision would be not to make more subprime loans. If, however, a third party came along and said we’ll buy those subprime loans from you, the bank could originate those loans all day long, clip various fees off the top, and be off the default risk after it sold the loans. In effect, that’s what we are suggesting Fannie and Freddie did with the creation of a secondary market for subprime loans. They encouraged expansion of the primary market through their willingness to buy on the secondary market. Other secondary market vehicles – various Wall St. mortgage conduits emerged later and became significant players in their own right.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  34. “Bush and company inherited a pristine nation (absolute) and proceeded to completely trash it (absolute).”

    Icy – The above is what I read in the N.Y. Times. No you mean to tell me it is wrong?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  35. And while I’m composing my little missive, DRJ comes along and makes my point, succinctly in a couple of sentences.

    And then Peter Phil comes back and illustrates the point once again; using the Kurtz quote “help to undermine the US economy” while simultaneously pretending that the words “help to” aren’t there.

    Icy Truth (1afea2)

  36. But no, instead you get an image of these evil communitiy organizers sneaking up behind the unwitting U.S. banking system, and pushing it into failure:

    Wrong. The image I get is of certain members of Congress attempting to embed an increase in CRA influence into a bailout without admitting that the CRA is part of the problem.

    Gasoline on a fire.

    In addition, I don’t think there’s any reason that ACORN should get a dime of federal funding to begin with, much less a portion of this ‘bailout’.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  37. daleyrocks — What was their motto again? “All the news that shits”?

    Icy Truth (1afea2)

  38. Icy – It always becomes a matter of all or nothing on every issue. Yes, but it’s called a false choice, and its a way of pushing an agenda. Since the left is all agenda all the time, every issue becomes one of false choice, otherwise no rational person would select any of their options.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  39. And then Peter Phil comes back and illustrates the point once again; using the Kurtz quote “help to undermine the US economy” while simultaneously pretending that the words “help to” aren’t there.

    Icy, you’re committing precisely the sin you’re accusing me of, by ignoring the fact that the quote unequivocally says that the community organizers were the ones “pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans.”

    There’s no one helping there — according to the article, the community organizers did it themselves. Those poor little ol’ bankers couldn’t stand up to some protestors and do-gooders.

    See what I’m saying? Sure, maybe there were other things “undermining the U.S. economy” but the subprime mortgage crisis, that was all the fault of community organizers.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  40. Well said, “Icy Truth”, at comment #31. Very well said.

    C. Norris (807b20)

  41. Wrong. The image I get is of certain members of Congress attempting to embed an increase in CRA influence into a bailout without admitting that the CRA is part of the problem.

    The whole bullcrap Obama is spouting about how this crisis is because we don’t have enough regulation is just as bad — it’s just that you guys don’t buy that for a second.

    But somehow, you can easily imagine that regulators and community organizers are so powerful that they can singlehandedly throw the entire banking system into a “sinkhole of bad loans.”

    Gosh, if they’re that powerful, maybe we SHOULD let them help us fix this problem.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  42. Of course, DRJ, and if the linked opinion columns (which Dmac worshipfully cites as “facts”)

    It’s not “worshipful” facts when in reality it was a news story. Lynn Sweet’s been a reporter here at the Sun – Times for decades now, and her reputation is unassailable. She doesn’t traffic in opinions in her work, and has never had her reporting called into question. Show me where her reporting has ever been classified as “opinionating” and I’ll rethink my case.

    Until then, you’re not understanding the orginal bank failure in it’s entirety.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  43. “And where does anyone say that “it was all the fault of liberal community organizers”

    Icy, I absolutely don’t understand how you can ask me when the article at the top of this page says that community organizers were the ones that “pushed the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans.”

    And I resent you calling me a liberal (though understand the binary thinking that might cause you to do so). George Bush is a liberal. I’m a libertarian.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  44. “according to the article, the community organizers did it themselves”

    Phil – Community organizers blackmailed or pressured public concessions out of banks. Banks devoted significant human resources to CRA compliance issues. That research you linked came from a law firm specializing in CRA compliance. Why do you have a hard time believing it became a real issue for financial institutions? What is your stumbling block?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  45. Show me where her reporting has ever been classified as “opinionating” and I’ll rethink my case.
    I guess I was mislead by the byline that reads: “Lynn Sweet is a columnist” …

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  46. Apogee — That’s why they work so hard to indoctrinate young minds in college. They know that nobody has a natural inclination to sacrifice liberty for the ideal of ‘equality'; it has to be ingrained into them. You have to train someone to accept as ‘best’ an idea that is counterintuitive, such as “the government knows better, because the individual cannot be trusted”.

    Icy Truth (1afea2)

  47. “..we are suggesting Fannie and Freddie did with the creation of a secondary market for subprime loans.
    Comment by daleyrocks — 9/29/2008 @ 3:12 pm

    That’s exactly what they did. I know, I’ve been a private (hard) money lender since the late ’80’s. In the real estate office where me and my partners did business there were also mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers on Fannie sub-prime were like weasels on crack. I/we stayed away from their “deals”. What I find interesting is that 90% of them are Democrats!

    C. Norris (807b20)

  48. The whole bullcrap Obama is spouting about how this crisis is because we don’t have enough regulation is just as bad — it’s just that you guys don’t buy that for a second.

    Actually – I buy that the regulations were improper an needed revision, but that has nothing to do with Obama, and everything to do with McCain, way back in 2005, when Obama was still installing a hotline to Daley’s office. Around that same time we have Barney Frank and Maxine Waters talking about how there were no problems with Fannie and Freddie. Yet the media continues to cover for them.

    But somehow, you can easily imagine that regulators and community organizers are so powerful that they can singlehandedly throw the entire banking system into a “sinkhole of bad loans.”

    Again, you revert to the false choice of singlehandedly’? If you’d stop with the talking points for a minute and read the thread, you might find that the majority here do not approve of golden parachutes after devaluing companies. Nor do they imagine that the CRA is the only portion of the equation that led to this problem

    But that would get in the way of the meme.

    The CRA is, however, a major portion of the problem because it enabled bad mortgages by guaranteeing them when no rational person who had to pay for it eventually would. Pushing that idea is the role of community organizers and regulators.

    I don’t think the execs of the failed institutions should be keeping their jobs, nor for that matter their parachutes. However, seeing the extreme dishonesty of the left in this equation, the thing of equal importance is also the elimination of the CRA, ACORN and community organizer funding. No more taxpayer teat.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  49. Community organizers blackmailed or pressured public concessions out of banks.

    What public concessions?

    Banks devoted significant human resources to CRA compliance issues.

    And did that cause them to make bad loans?

    That research you linked came from a law firm specializing in CRA compliance.

    And Kurtz specializes in arguing that Barak Obama is a communist controlled by dark puppeteers who are in direct supernatural communication with Stalin’s ghost.

    Why do you have a hard time believing it became a real issue for financial institutions?

    I don’t say it wasn’t a ‘real issue.” It obviously was a real issue. I also say that there is an extremely complex, divergent and antagonistic system of interests driving the banking system, of which loud, minority liberal community organizers are but a small part.

    But because even the mention of the phrase “community organizer” gets a good laugh from the Republican Convention, they’re an incredibly easy scapegoat.

    What is your stumbling block?

    My stumbling block is that there’s a hell of a lot more wrong with our financial system than just some idealistic liberal crusaders. And that stinking, rotting core is being ignored, and getting away scott-free to do all of this again, because everybody on the right is focusing on the “community organizers” who were controlling things, and everyone on the left is just saying “gosh, if only we’d had more regulation.”

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  50. C. Norris – Thanks for the confirmation. FIGJAM.

    Fuck I’m Good. Just Ask Me.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  51. Mortgage brokers on Fannie sub-prime were like weasels on crack.

    Favorite line of the thread.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  52. because everybody on the right is focusing on the “community organizers”

    Phil – You’re missing the whole fucking point. Nobody is focused on community organizers. We’re focused on the lack of effective oversight and blocking of effective oversight of Fannie and Freddie by Democrats. Sure community organizers pressured banks into making bad loans, but it never could have gotten to this point without complicity from Washington. Try to think your reactions through for a change and develop some perspective.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  53. Nobody is focused on community organizers.

    Dailyrocks, I don’t know what thread you’re in, but I’m in the thread where mean, powerful community organizers are intimidating helpless, naive international banks into irresponsibly giving away money to poor people.

    I haven’t been posting in the thread about how the Washington Democrats utterly blew it on Fannie and Freddie. You won’t get any disagreement from me on that one.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  54. “Community organizers blackmailed or pressured public concessions out of banks.

    What public concessions?”

    Phil – Press conferences caving in to the community organizers specifying what actions the bank will be taking in the specific community affected.

    This is obviously a subject with which you are not familiar. Raising stupid objections about public events is not a productive use of anyone’s time. You can read numerous accounts of the history of ACORN’s actions and the history of the CRA. Educating you through the socratic method on a comment thread in response to your less than honest questions in not useful.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  55. #38 – Phil

    See what I’m saying? Sure, maybe there were other things “undermining the U.S. economy” but the subprime mortgage crisis, that was all the fault of community organizers.
    — The only one drawing that conclusion from the article is YOU. None of us are saying it (one might think you would be happy about that); DRJ, who posted the article, does not say it and specifically replied to YOU (in #29) in order to make that very point.

    #42 – I absolutely don’t understand how you can ask me when the article at the top of this page says that community organizers were the ones that “pushed the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans.”
    — Maybe I missed something. Does it say “singlehandedly” (there’s a good Absolutist word)? Seems to me that you’re parsing words more than you’re addressing the actual culpability of these groups.

    And I resent you calling me a liberal (though understand the binary thinking that might cause you to do so). George Bush is a liberal. I’m a libertarian.
    — 1) I did not call you a liberal; I said that you were manifesting a classic liberal trait, that of viewing an issue in terms of an absolute. 2) Libertarianism encompasses views that can be thought of as either liberal or conservative. For example, ‘free trade’ on the conservative side, and ‘legalized drugs’ on the liberal end of the libertarian spectrum. Bill Maher is a perfect example of someone whose politics fall into the liberal end of the libertarian sector of the political compass.

    Icy Truth (e4fabe)

  56. Press conferences caving in to the community organizers specifying what actions the bank will be taking in the specific community affected.

    Daily, that was a set-up question — namely, I knew the answer would not be “the banks said ‘Oh, OK, we will jump into a sinkhole of bad loans because we are afraid of you.'”

    The problem with this discussion is that all of you who are arguing with me seem comfortable assuming that because there was a CRA, and because it was a success for community organizers, and won some concessions from banks, that caused the subprime crisis. Or even was much of a factor in causing the subprime crisis.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  57. #39 – C. Norris

    Thank You. It was just so blatant how, in defending Obama by proxy, both Phil and Peter went down that “Kurtz said that it was all the fault of community organizers” path.

    Icy Truth (e4fabe)

  58. I’m a libertarian

    Shorter Phil –

    I’m a liber…al.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  59. Does it say “singlehandedly” (there’s a good Absolutist word)? Seems to me that you’re parsing words more than you’re addressing the actual culpability of these groups.

    Kurtz says that the community organizers are responsible for “pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans.” He certainly doesn’t try to spread the blame around.

    Who else does Kurtz say was “pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans?” Certainly not those helpless banks, who were just “intimidated” and did whatever the big mean community organizers told them to.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  60. Phil and friends,
    Please put away the race card, its part of why we are here to begin with. Democrats mistakenly thought that “owning” a home was a God given right and not part of the American dream. The system was racist because minorities weren’t geting loans, credit history and income be damned. Your FICO score is a direct indicator of your likelihood to paypack a loan. Unfortunatley blacks, including those with decent income tend to have lower FICO scores. To avoid being “racist” we bring affirmative action into the banking industry. It didn’t work. Thank Dodd, Frank, Pelosi and oh yes, Obama.

    Bfidler (e6db0a)

  61. Phil – indeed the answer is not “Oh, OK, we will jump into a sinkhole of bad loans because we are afraid of you.”

    Rather, it is – “So you’ll guarantee me a profit even if I take bad loans? Hmm. And if I resist, you’ll ask everyone why I wouldn’t take a deal like that? And I’ll have to come up with an answer, not only to the community organizers, but to the shareholders? No contest.”

    Sinkhole was never mentioned. Please refrain from the “But they should have known” portion, as the bailout is a part of that guarantee.

    Which is why many of us realize the necessity, but disagree with the structure of the ‘bailout’.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  62. Community Organizer = Fascist Brownshirt.

    Ropelight (1be620)

  63. Ropelight – Community Organizer = Fascist Brownshirt.

    Agreed.

    Might I add:
    Sub-Prime Brokers = Vichy France?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  64. Sinkhole was never mentioned. Please refrain from the “But they should have known” portion, as the bailout is a part of that guarantee.

    Sinkhole was never mentioned? Oh sure, except for the part where the article at the top of the page says “community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans.”

    It sounds like you’ve got a more rational analysis of the motiviations and causes of the meltdown than Kurtz. I’m critcizing Kurtz’ view, and the people here who are defending it. Since you appear not to have read the original post, I don’t really have anything to discuss with you.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  65. #63, Apogee, I think I’m OK with your formulation, it’s clever, perhaps even deep and subtle, but I’d like to take a little time before I give you my final answer.

    Ropelight (1be620)

  66. Rope…
    Try to make up your mind before the landings in North Africa…

    Another Drew (dfc67f)

  67. Phil – I read the article. If I have differing opinions than Kurtz on some issues, that does not make his central point incorrect.

    When I said that Sinkhole was never mentioned, I wasn’t speaking of the sentence out of Kurtz’s article. Your insistence on parsing the sentence is telling in that you choose to miss the forest through the trees. Sinkhole describes the outcome, not the arrangement.

    The arrangement of which Kurtz writes was greased by the dual wheels of government regulation and federal guarantee. He specifically alludes to that fact when he writes:

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

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

    Without the assistance of those two government mandated realities, the ‘community organizers’ would be unable to intimidate bad loans.

    Where I part company with Kurtz is in his failure to drive home the fact that what the scam offered was not just intimidation, but guaranteed profits. To me that is an incredibly important angle as to how this could have progressed to the point that it has.

    Unfortunately for you, it still doesn’t change the fact that the ‘community organizers’ acted, as Ropelight so aptly put, like the Fascist Brownshirts. I just think the job was made easier by the Vichy Brokers.

    And, Kurtz is correct, Barack Obama is right in the middle of this problem. And not in a good way. Run if you need to, but your point is not taken.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  68. I also remember reading somewhere that in about the middle of the Clinton years the criteria for meeting the CRA changed. Previously having good intentions and a plan was enough. After about 1998 a certain percentage of the loans made by a bank had to be to disadvantaged areas. I can’t remember where it was, maybe in the same article by Kurtz.

    Mark_0454 (48edfc)

  69. My stumbling block is that there’s a hell of a lot more wrong with our financial system than just some idealistic liberal crusaders. And that stinking, rotting core is being ignored, and getting away scott-free to do all of this again, because everybody on the right is focusing on the “community organizers” who were controlling things, and everyone on the left is just saying “gosh, if only we’d had more regulation.”

    Wow. Go Phil. This articulates exactly what makes my blood pressure go through the roof when I read Kurtz’s facile Right-wing tripe.

    I think there’s something much more important be lost here in the partisan back and forth a “rotting stinking core” is correct. What I’ve come to see it as is the unchecked abuses and absolute power of an economic system, Capitalism, that ultimately eats itself if there are no divergent systems for it to compete against and balance it out, or at least provide a different perspective. Since the wall fell in 1992, Capitalism has been declared the reigning world champion and become synonymous with Freedom, which is basically declaring it sacrosanct and infallible. This where the magical thinking comes in and the con, because Capitalism as is being proved by both China and Russia, actually seems to function possibly even better when human rights are ignored and flat out suppressed. There’s nothing like a little cheap (ie, slave) labor to make a Capitalist nation sing with prosperity.

    Both parties are complicit, but I just happen to think that the Right, the Neocons and the Bush Republicans are a bit more complicit. For them, the idea of Capitalism and Freedom are interchangeable and that is dangerous. It dilutes the meaning of real freedom and liberty. And they’ve bought in whole hog to the idea of the perfection of Capitalism and their ideology has become dogma and self-destructive fanaticism.

    This quote by Lincoln I found on another board sums this idea up beautifully:


    It is an old maxim and a very sound one, that he that dances should always pay the fiddler. Now, sir, in the present case, if any gentlemen, whose money is a burden to them, choose to lead off a dance, I am decidedly opposed to the people’s money being used to pay the fiddler…all this to settle a question in which the people have no interest, and about which they care nothing. These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people, and now, that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people’s money to settle the quarrel.

    Lincoln, 1837

    Peter (e70d1c)

  70. When the government has created enterprises to make home loans, subsidized those entities, wrote legislation that punished banks that did not write loans that the government wanted written, and then people come here and whine about “capitalism”, I know where the tripe is coming from.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  71. Apogee”

    And, Kurtz is correct, Barack Obama is right in the middle of this problem. And not in a good way. Run if you need to, but your point is not taken.

    Yes, helping old people buy groceries and communities plan centers and work with City governments caused all of this.

    Look, this is just the same old, GOP need to control the narrative and aim the most egregious elements at the Democrats, in this specific case Obama and they’re not going to get away with it anymore. For one thing it’s too simplistic and childish. And Kurtz is the Apotheosis of that.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  72. “Yes, helping old people buy groceries and communities plan centers and work with City governments caused all of this.”

    Can’t you read? ” Community Organizers and the Money Lenders” means “blacks and jews”

    imdw (d11d58)

  73. Good plan, imdw, call DRJ racist and anti-semitic.

    Brilliant.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  74. Peter – Yes, helping old people buy groceries and communities plan centers and work with City governments caused all of this.

    Could you be more disingenuous?

    I trust you to try in your response.

    Both parties are complicit, but I just happen to think that the Right, the Neocons and the Bush Republicans are a bit more complicit.

    No, you happen to have written that you believe that government bureaucrats should be entrusted to run our entire economy, because, as Obama and Alinsky’s plan goes, the use of government excess to affect the market is spun by fellow travellers such as yourself to indicate the ‘failure’ of capitalism.

    You are seriously arguing for the elimination of capitalism?

    You are a joke.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  75. imdw,

    I’m literate. When I want to talk about blacks and Jews, I use the words “blacks” and “jews.”

    DRJ (c953ab)

  76. “I’m literate. When I want to talk about blacks and Jews, I use the words “blacks” and “jews.””

    I must be racist and anti-semitic for reading it that way. Sorry to all.

    imdw (e3c655)

  77. What I’ve come to see it as is the unchecked abuses and absolute power of an economic system, Capitalism, that ultimately eats itself if there are no divergent systems for it to compete against and balance it out
    — Ya know, when you actually use the word “absolute” it makes my job too easy. Pray tell, of what “divergent systems” do you speak?

    Capitalism has been declared the reigning world champion and become synonymous with Freedom, which is basically declaring it sacrosanct and infallible.
    — The proponents of capitalism don’t just think that it is the best system, they think it is ‘perfect’. Yet another false declaration of an absolute.

    For them, the idea of Capitalism and Freedom are interchangeable and that is dangerous. It dilutes the meaning of real freedom and liberty.
    — Nobody is talking about totally unrestrained, unregulated capitalism . . . except for YOU, Mr. Absolutist.

    And they’ve bought in whole hog to the idea of the perfection of Capitalism and their ideology has become dogma and self-destructive fanaticism.
    — While YOU have bought, whole hog, into this perfection bullshit.

    Icy Truth (4fe729)

  78. I must be racist and anti-semitic for reading it that way.

    Yes, you are – Troll.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  79. No, you happen to have written that you believe that government bureaucrats should be entrusted to run our entire economy, because, as Obama and Alinsky’s plan goes, the use of government excess to affect the market is spun by fellow travellers such as yourself to indicate the ‘failure’ of capitalism.

    The failure of trickle-down, neoconservative post-cold war government sponsored and financed hyper-capitalism. Yes. Absolutely. A slow motion trainwreck currently in progress and threatening to take us all with it. Enjoy the show. Because this version of Capitalism is a fait accomplis.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  80. And, up until now, how has the government financed this “hyper-capitalism”?

    Icy Truth (48b514)

  81. I take it from Phil and Peter that they do not believe community organizers can intimidate banks into making loans they would not otherwise have made.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  82. Peter – You claim a failure of government intervention with and regulation of capitalism, and use that as a basis to discredit capitalism.
    Yet you do not equally hold government to any accountability.

    Perhaps we should actually try capitalism.

    Your ideas have been discredited by history. Try again.

    Apogee (186a12)

  83. Anyone who wants to know what ACORN does, or how community organizers function, what they do, and how they go about it, should read Tom Wolf.

    In 1070, Wolf described Community Organizers in their nacency. His essay, “Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers” exposed the techniques of using racial intimidation, mau-mauing, to extract funds from government bureaucrats: flak catchers.

    It’s all there, chapter and verse, set down almost 40 years ago, and is as informative today as it was then. Wolf’s other works are well worth the time too.

    Ropelight (1be620)

  84. In 1070, Wolf described Community Organizers in their nacency.

    Yeah forget the CRA legislation. Let’s blame the Credit crisis on the Battle of Hastings of 1066. Makes about as much sense or even more satisfying for you righties, lets balme it all on the Magna Carta. It’s all been downhill since those big bad intimidating community organizers asked that universal rights be recognized.

    LOL.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  85. Comment by Peter — 9/30/2008 @ 10:17 am

    Could it be that Ropelight meant to type “1970“?

    …and, there are certain segments of the English populace that would say that things have been going downhill since the loss at Hastings.

    AOracle (7b9099)

  86. Perhaps we should actually try capitalism.

    That’s right. The kind that actually has an obligation to the greater social good and that isn’t gifted with excessive and massive regulatory loop holes, obscene tax breaks and even more obscene welfare from taxpayers when they eff the whole thing up in an orgy of irresponsibility, greed, corruption, cronyism, ignorance and self-righteousness.

    The more I think about it the more I think this is your classic example of absolute power absolutely corrupting. The kind that came after it had won it’s cold war against Soviet communism and it became a religion for those in the Milton Friedman/Reaganomic Right.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  87. Could it be that Ropelight meant to type “1970“?

    I was joking.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  88. “…example of absolute power absolutely corrupting…”

    Yes, Fannie and Freddie accrued to themselves absolute power through the purchase of indulgences from the powers-that-be in Congress; and, they became corrupt and need to be disbanded.

    And, those in Congress that facilitated this corruption need to be turned out at the least;
    and, tried and convicted and jailed at the best.

    AOracle (7b9099)

  89. All of the commenters here live lives comparable to the kings of old and better than Presidents lived in the first half of just the last century. Some commenters seem blissfully unaware.

    Bel Aire (e59286)


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