Friday, September 26, 2008

Puppet Government

Statler & Waldorf come down from their balcony to agree to disagree about why to watch the presidential debate.

See more.... 

Democrat Policy Caused Financial Crisis

What a difference ten years makes.
For those attempting to understand what is the cause of the current financial crisis, and who was to blame, here's the record of the sordid tale's genesis.
It's not due to Wall Street corruption, CEO's salaries, De-Regulation, or the Republicans.  The Democrats, in a ploy to use the power of government to grow their voter registration roles, structured the mortgage market to solidify their minority base.
Here's the historical record....starting in September, 1999.
(thanks to Jack Murray for this tip)

September 30, 1999

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.
The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.
''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''
Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.
In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.
''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''
Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.
Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.
Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.
In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.
Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.
In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.
The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.
October 22, 1999

A Key Senator Again Blocks the Banking Bill

For the second consecutive year, as legislation to overhaul the nation's financial system looked as though it had a good chance of passing Congress, Senator Phil Gramm, the Texas Republican who heads the Senate Banking Committee, stood in its path and brought the bill to a standstill.
Yesterday's events are reminiscent of those last year when Mr. Gramm single-handedly sent the bill to a quiet death through clever parliamentary maneuvering just as it was poised to gain Senate approval and be enacted into law.
And with events of October 1999 repeating those of October 1998, the issue that caused Mr. Gramm to mount his opposition each time was the same -- his strident opposition to anything seen as remotely expanding the provisions of the Community Reinvestment Act, a law providing for greater bank lending to inner-city neighborhoods.
In taking this stand, Mr. Gramm put himself on a collision course with the White House and Congressional Democrats, who feel that protections are needed to eliminate discrimination in bank lending. And his opposition has caused consternation among many bank lobbyists, who would have rather seen the overall measure passed than to have it hung up over a form of lending they have learned to live with.
''Gramm has been the driving force in this process,'' said Kenneth Guenther, lobbyist for the Independent Bankers Association. ''And the Community Reinvestment Act issue has been almost a quasi-religious issue for him.''
Why Mr. Gramm has such make-it-or-break-it power over such a historic piece of legislation can be explained simply: In a Congress and a city of tough negotiators, he is tougher, more tenacious and, some say, meaner than most. He is willing to hold up an important piece of legislation -- one that he says he supports in principle -- because it does not conform to his conservative world view.
''Phil Gramm is a very, very tough negotiator,'' said Ed Yingling, a lobbyist for the American Bankers Association. ''He tries to maintain as much of his position as long as he can and makes sure he gets maximum leverage at every stage of the process. It's a negotiating tactic that gets mixed reviews, depending on which end you are on. He does not give way easily.''
Others are more blunt about Mr. Gramm's well-demonstrated ability to draw a line in the sand and never retreat: ''Frankly, people are afraid of him,'' another banking lobbyist said.
In mounting this battle, Mr. Gramm is not representing any constituency but himself. Banks, securities firms and insurance companies have long ago ironed out their differences and say it is necessary to back a measure that would allow them to enter each other's businesses and, they say, become more competitive.
And, in principle, Mr. Gramm says he supports this notion -- he just does not like the measure's provisions as it relates to the inner-city lending. For over a year, Mr. Gramm has said that he wants to see a bill passed that would replace the historic Glass-Steagall Act with what would have been called the Gramm-Leach Act, after him and the chairman of the House Banking Committee, Jim Leach, a Republican from Iowa.
In Congress, Mr. Gramm is given high marks for his dedication to promoting the broad concepts of the bill, for his dogged tenacity in negotiating its finer points and for his keen understanding of the most arcane matters of finance. Where many other legislators leave much of the detail work to their staffs, Mr. Gramm is a hands-on, detail-oriented committee chairman.
''He didn't pass anything off to his staff,'' said Mr. Yingling, the banking lobbyist. ''He just worked the bill really hard.''
Mr. Gramm's opposition to mandated inner-city bank lending is both philosophical and personal. He sees Government as being too intrusive in people's lives, and the Community Reinvestment Act as an example of that. And he dislikes the tactics of many advocacy groups -- one group held a demonstration this year on the lawn of his suburban Washington house, trampling on his flower beds and ripping up his tulips. In public hearings, he has called these groups ''extortionists'' and likened the reinvestment act to ''slavery.''
Mr. Gramm, of course, does not see this year's events as an end to financial services overhaul legislation -- just a beginning. A strong supporter of Gov. George W. Bush of Texas, Mr. Gramm said yesterday that he thought that a measure might pass next year. ''We'll have a new bill in 15 months,'' he said, adding that ''I know who the President will be'' then.
He also said, ''I think we could have a great bill with a new administration.''
Perhaps. But in the next Congress many Democratic liberals like Maxine Waters of California and Barney Frank of Massachusetts could rise to greater positions of power on the House Banking Committee, making it tougher for him to prevail.
Even so, no one is counting Mr. Gramm out. Mr. Leach, the House banking committee chairman who has tangled with Mr. Gramm in many closed-door sessions, has a delicately worded description of him. ''A major element of Phil Gramm is that he has philosophical convictions combined with extreme tenacity,'' Mr. Leach said in an interview. ''And those traits have done him well.'' 
Long Insulated, Fannie Mae Feels Political Heat

Published: October 6, 2004

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 - Like the cherry blossoms in the spring, and loyalty to the Redskins, the power and influence of Fannie Mae are among those aspects of Washington that never seem to change - until now.
With its army of high-powered lobbyists, its board and executive ranks stacked with Washington power brokers of all political stripes, a portfolio of $1 trillion and an apple pie core mission of helping people afford to buy housing, the mortgage giant has long been considered untouchable.

But two weeks ago, an interim report by its regulator that sharply criticized Fannie Mae's accounting practices and the news of inquiries by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have provided its adversaries - and those of Freddie Mac - an opportunity that they have long dreamed of, but doubted would ever come to pass.
"The historical perspective is that Fannie and Freddie were 800-pound gorillas and nobody could take them on," said Wright Andrews, a lobbyist who once worked for FM Policy Focus, a group of Fannie Mae competitors. "With this new issue of Fannie, people are saying, 'Wait a minute, maybe the emperor has no clothes and we need to take a much closer look.' "
On Wednesday, critics on Capitol Hill will have their first opportunity to quiz Fannie Mae's leadership since the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight released its scathing report on the company. Franklin D. Raines, chief executive and chairman, and J. Timothy Howard, the chief financial officer, will appear before a House Financial Services subcommittee.
"The current situation provides an opportunity for Congress to fix" regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said Ed Rothschild, a lobbyist hired by FM Policy Focus, in an e-mail message to a Democratic Congressional staff member. The message, which Mr. Rothschild confirmed as his, argues that the two companies "have been hiding behind their special privileges, such as exemption from full registration with the S.E.C., while simultaneously manipulating their accounting to maximize profits and reward senior executives."
But others in Washington note that while Fannie Mae may be wounded, its influence should not be underestimated. And Fannie Mae has never been slow when it comes to protecting its domain and striking out at its enemies.
"You can never lose sight that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a greater incentive than any player in Washington to maintain their political influence," said Jonathan Kopell, an assistant professor of politics at the Yale School of Management. "Everything about their business model is subject to change if Congress chooses to change it."
The company derives much of its influence by collecting an A list of Washington's influence peddlers. Its top Congressional lobbyist, Duane Duncan, is a former chief of staff for Representative Richard Baker - the Louisiana Republican and Fannie Mae critic who will preside over Wednesday's hearing. Michele Davis, the company's vice president for regulatory policy, worked in the Treasury Department under Paul H. O'Neill.
Mr. Raines served as budget director under President Clinton; his predecessor, James A. Johnson, is a prominent Democrat who was an adviser to Vice President Walter Mondale and now to the Kerry campaign.
Other former and current officials with the company include Frederic V. Malek, who along with President Bush was part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team; Robert B. Zoellick, currently the United States trade representative; Jamie Gorelick, a deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration and a member of the 9/11 Commission; and Lawrence M. Small, the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
The political heavyweights affiliated with Fannie Mae have not made the company slow footed, however. Once, during the Clinton administration, an official from the Office of Management and Budget mentioned to a senior Treasury Department official that the White House was considering removing an exemption from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and asked him not to mention that to anyone.
"Within 15 minutes of the person leaving the office, the phone was ringing off the hook," with callers expressing concern, said the O.M.B. official who, fearing retaliation from Fannie Mae, spoke on condition of anonymity.
At a Christmas party in 1998, a Fannie Mae executive heard a tip that the Clinton administration was thinking of pushing a proposal to end the company's longstanding exemption from paying fees to the S.E.C. when it registers its securities. The company mobilized, recalling executives from Christmas vacations. It also galvanized dozens of mayors, lobbyists from the housing industry and lawmakers, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, to interrupt their holidays to call the White House and express dismay at the proposal and its effect on low- and middle-income homeowners.
The White House quietly shelved the proposal before it was made public.
Fannie Mae has not been afraid to use its deep pocketbook to undermine competitors and critics. When Charlie Leonard, was helping organize FM Policy Focus in 1999, he recalled getting a phone call from a Fannie Mae executive offering him double the money if he would instead come to work for Fannie Mae.
"It was a very telling experience about how readily they were willing to spend money to prevent any organized opposition," said Mr. Leonard, a partner at Chlopak, Leonard Schechter, a public relations firm that does work with financial backers of FM Policy Focus. Mr. Leonard also recalled that within 48 hours of the group's interviewing two lobbying firms to do work for FM Policy Focus, he received telephone calls informing him that Fannie Mae had hired both.
Besides its own staff of 10 or so lobbyists, Fannie Mae spent $1.2 million for the services of 60 Washington lobbyists at 16 different firms through July, according to Senate filings. Fannie Mae's strengths extend beyond the Beltway.
It maintains a broad base of support in local communities and the political structure that has been groomed through the Fannie Mae Foundation, a private nonprofit organization financed entirely by the mortgage giant, and a network of satellite and 55 partnership offices.
Charities ranging from the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and the Arena Stage in Washington to housing organizations like the Kansas City Neighborhood Alliance and the Los Angeles Housing Services have found themselves showered with largess from the company's philanthropic outlet. The company's lobbyists, Congressional staffers say, can give just about any member of Congress a map of the member's district showing how much Fannie has contributed through the company and the foundation.
Even if Fannie Mae's influence has been weakened by the recent accusations over its accounting, its opponents may not be in a position to capitalize on the company's stumble. Some Capitol Hill staff members say that Fannie Mae's most vocal critics lack the political organization and the coherent message to challenge a company that has always vigorously defended itself.
Indeed, some of Fannie Mae's opponents are hoping that the two most influential critics of the company - Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, would help lead the charge. But both men have remained largely silent.
Still, as it faces its new challenges, some of Fannie Mae's most stalwart allies and advocates are distancing themselves from a company tarnished by investigations. The National Association of Home Builders, a $100 million lobbying group that has often aligned its grass-roots membership of 215,000 with Fannie Mae, may be pulling back.
"We're re-evaluating our position on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," said Jerry Howard, the chief executive of the association, one of the few groups to defeat Fannie Mae in legislative battle. In 1998, it successfully lobbied Congress to increase the limit for the values of the houses that can be insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a change that Fannie Mae opposed.
Representative Barney Frank, the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee who has defended Fannie Mae's mission on low- and middle-income housing, voted to give his committee chairman the power to subpoena the company's records on its accounting practices. The questioning on Wednesday by Mr. Frank, considered one of the most knowledgeable committee members, will be a barometer of the company's political future.
People who have worked with the company say Fannie Mae will inevitably get ahead of the pace of political change, especially if new regulation seems inevitable in the next Congressional session.
"They'll embrace the process, but they'll work behind the scenes," said Michael Basham, a deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury in the first Bush administration, who oversaw the 1992 legislation that regulated Fannie Mae. "It's the classic, 'Don't pay attention to that man behind the screen.' "

Political Memo; For Schumer, A War Chest That Reflects Wall Street

Published: September 8, 2003
New York's senior senator, Charles E. Schumer, was playing up his blue-collar roots the other morning when he surrounded himself in the Capitol with union leaders representing Teamsters, pipe fitters, painters and other workers.
''My cousin is in that union!'' Mr. Schumer, a Democrat from Brooklyn who goes by Chuck, chimed in at one point during the news conference when someone mentioned the communications workers' union.
But when it comes to campaign fund-raising, the senator turns to a decidedly different set of supporters, the kind that would make any Republican swoon: people on Wall Street and other players in the securities and banking industry.
As he prepares to seek re-election next year, Mr. Schumer has amassed a staggering campaign war chest of nearly $17 million, and his top donors include people from firms like Goldman Sachs ($266,340), Morgan Stanley ($181,500), Citigroup Inc. ($169,800) and Bear Stearns ($125,400), just to name a few.
In all, Mr. Schumer took in roughly $6 million from people in Wall Street investment houses, major New York law firms and banks and real estate companies from 1999, the year he took office, to June 30 of this year, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign financing.
The money has kept pouring in despite the fact that Mr. Schumer has no Republican challenger and that top New York Republicans have all but abandoned any plans to mount serious opposition next year given his politically dominant position.
Republicans and Democrats say that Mr. Schumer's fund-raising success reflects his aggressive cultivation of donors since arriving in the Senate, where he sits on a powerful committee that shapes legislation affecting New York's financial industry.

The committee member to get the second-highest amount of money from the securities and investment industry in that same period, according to the center, was Senator Jon S. Corzine, a Democrat from New Jersey and a former chairman of Goldman, Sachs & Company, with $963,054. The committee member to receive the third-highest amount from that industry was Senator Christopher J. Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, with $806,502.


October 24, 1999

Deal on Bank Bill Was Helped Along By Midnight Talks

At a fund-raiser at Senator Edward M. Kennedy's home here shortly after 6 o'clock on Thursday evening, President Clinton asked one of his closest friends in the Senate, Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, how the talks were going with Republicans over the most important financial legislation since the Great Depression.
Mr. Dodd was not optimistic about the bill, which had reached the point of do or die. After four days of bitter polemic between Senator Phil Gramm, the Texas Republican who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Administration officials, the two sides were stuck over highly symbolic and racially tinged community lending rules that threatened to rip the legislation apart.
The discussions had become so poisoned by Thursday night that Mr. Gramm threatened both the top White House economic adviser, Gene Sperling, and the head of the nation's largest financial services company, Citigroup, that he would pull the plug on the bill, something neither the Administration nor Wall Street wanted.
But Mr. Dodd returned to the Capitol and, with a handful of other Democrats from the Banking Committee, slowly managed to turn Mr. Gramm around in an emotional confrontation in a tiny back office crammed with three dozen lawmakers and aides and Administration officials. There, they agreed to split a critical difference -- giving Mr. Gramm a provision he wanted that would make community lending advocates more accountable, and giving the White House what it wanted by making sure banks provided credit in poor communities before entering new lines of business.....
This account of the roller-coaster ride of the Financial Services Act of 1999 is based on interviews with leading Democratic and Republican lawmakers, senior officials at the White House, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, and industry executives and lobbyists.
Their horse-trading involved several deals. One, over a new regulatory system that may wind up governing the nation's banks for much of the next century, was reached two weeks ago between Mr. Summers and Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, after months of debate about their visions of the marketplace. The agreement between Mr. Summers and Mr. Greenspan to share regulatory powers is a centerpiece of the legislation to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 14, Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Summers brokered a complex arrangement. Their agencies would share authority under a regime in which new financial conglomerates would not be able to take broad advantage of the economic subsidies that are provided to federally insured banks.
That resolved a fundamental difference between the House and Senate versions of the legislation and propelled the measure into high gear. Still, by the beginning of last week, there were a few remaining barriers to a deal between Mr. Gramm and the White House.
When President Clinton returned on Monday night from New Jersey, he was informed that there had been no significant progress between Mr. Gramm and the Administration over the Community Reinvestment Act.
''It's going to be a long night of baseball and C.R.A.,'' he told aides.
Detested by Mr. Gramm, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was intended to eradicate discrimination in lending. Mr. Gramm vowed that his bill would never expand the application of the act, and insisted that the new measure should exempt thousands of smaller institutions from its provisions. At the urging of civil rights groups, the Administration insisted that the new law could do nothing to roll back the 1977 act.
In particular, the Administration insisted that any bank interested in expanding into new lines of business must have and maintain a satisfactory record of community lending. For his part, Mr. Gramm was also insisting that community groups be forced to disclose any agreements that they reached with banks to increase their lending to minorities and the disadvantaged.......
The group closeted itself in the tiny office of the House Banking Committee's staff director with top officials from the Treasury and the Fed.
At several points, Mr. Gramm and Representative John J. LaFalce of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Banking Committee, threatened to walk out. They were cajoled to stay by Representative Jim Leach, the Iowa Republican who headed the conference committee, and Mr. Dodd and Mr. Schumer.
Still, tempers had begun to fray.
When Mr. Schumer got animated, Mr. Gramm pointedly observed, ''I'm an old man, but I still have my hearing.'' That prompted Mr. Dodd to observe: ''He's from Brooklyn. That's how they talk there.''
Finally, they whittled away their differences, ending with an agreement on the last remaining issue, a relatively minor provision that would require community groups to make some public disclosures about financial arrangements they had with the banks they had pressed to make more loans to the underserved.
The final agreement gave Mr. Gramm what he had ultimately sought -- a statement in the legislation that the community groups would have to be more accountable by requiring that they had to disclose their arrangements with banks. Earlier, Mr. Gramm had acquiesced to the Administration's request that no banks with bad community lending records be allowed to enter into the securities or insurance businesses. The two sides also agreed to split the difference on exempting small banks from the Community Reinvestment Act. Small banks with the best lending records would get fewer reviews for compliance with the act by Federal auditors.
Shortly after 2 in the morning, the business of many years was done.
The rest is history, and now here we are on a Friday afternoon with the Senate, House, and President attempting to solve a world-wide financial crisis fathered by Rep. Frank, Sen. Schumer, and Sen. Dodd.  And, having acknowledged no role in the creation of the crisis, they are continuing to insist on the same toxic virus of sub-prime home loan capabilities in the 'bail-out' bill being negotiated.  Where is the Main Street Media reporting this story?

Democrats Un-Shameable

Republicans reject Democrat's proposal to continue the cause of the problem
Despite the severity of the problem facing the American economy, the Democrats are still attempting to finagle the establishment of what effectively is a slush fund for Democrat largess, and the root cause of the Financial Sector meltdown - sub-prime loans!

House Republicans refused to support the Henry Paulson/Chris Dodd compromise bailout plan yesterday afternoon, even after the New York Times reported that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson got down on one knee to beg Nancy Pelosi to compromise.  One of the sticking points, as Senator Lindsey Graham explained later, wasn’t a lack of begging but a poison pill that would push 20% of all profits from the bailout into the Housing Trust Fund — a boondoggle that Democrats in Congress has used to fund political-action groups like ACORN and the National Council of La Raza:

Graham told Greta van Susteren that Democrats had their own priorities, and it wasn’t bailing out the financial sector:

Here’s the relevant part of the Dodd proposal:

  1. DEPOSITS.Not less than 20 percent of any profit realized on the sale of each troubled asset purchased under this Act shall be deposited as provided in paragraph (2).
  2. USE OF DEPOSITS.Of the amount referred to in paragraph (1)
    1. 65 percent shall be deposited into the Housing Trust Fund established under section 1338 of the Federal Housing Enterprises Regulatory Reform Act of 1992 (12 U.S.C. 4568); and
    2. 35 percent shall be deposited into the Capital Magnet Fund established under section 1339 of that Act (12 U.S.C. 4569).
REMAINDER DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY.All amounts remaining after payments under paragraph (1) shall be paid into the General Fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt.

That being said, this section proves that the Democrats in Congress have learnednothing from this financial collapse.  They still want to game the market to pick winners and losers by funding programs for unqualified and marginally-qualified borrowers to buy houses they may not be able to afford — and that’s the innocentexplanation for this clause.
The real purpose of section D is to send more funds to La Raza and ACORN through housing welfare, via the slush fund of the HTF.  They want to float their political efforts on behalf of Democrats with public money, which was always the purpose behind the HTF.  They did the same thing in April in the first bailout bill, setting aside $100 million in “counseling” that went in large part to ACORN and La Raza, and at least in the former case, providing taxpayer funding for a group facing criminal charges in more than a dozen states for fraud.

Thanks to the folks at for this story.

Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy has entered the record books!

A Swiss man has become the first person to fly solo across the English Channel using a single jet-propelled wing.

Yves Rossy landed safely after the 22-mile (35.4 km) flight from Calais to Dover, which had been twice postponed this week because of bad weather.
The former military pilot took less than 10 minutes to complete the crossing and parachute to the ground

Full Story

Video Of The Week

Blog Subjects

Our Blogger Templates Web Design

  © Blogger template Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP