Cartoon by Pat Bagley- Comment on the cartoon
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She's Clueless; He's Worse
by Robert Scheer - Comment on the column
Ignorance is bliss, which perhaps explains Gov. Sarah Palin being so confidently wrong about the root cause of the federalization of most of the nation's mortgage market. But what is Sen. John McCain's excuse? Both act as if the financial meltdown of the U.S. economy has nothing to do with the policies of the political party they represent - but she at least may not know any better.
Distracted momentarily from her campaign revelries of maverick opposition to the "bridge to nowhere," which she had supported until it became a public relations debacle, and congressional earmarks for which she, as a small-town mayor, had hustled piggishly at the federal trough, Palin made the mistake of dealing with an unscripted subject.
Referring to the government's bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Palin opined that the two had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers," displaying abysmal ignorance of the fact that only now will those privately owned banks become a huge taxpayer obligation, as the federal government takes them over. Nor can the meltdown of home values be traced to those two beleaguered institutions, because they did not make the original subprime mortgage commitments.
The housing bubble was the result of the Ponzi-scheme antics of those other financial entities: commercial banks, stockbrokers and hedge funds, which were allowed in a GOP-deregulated market to get into the "swap" business. Through the rampant reselling of loans, the obligation to collect on a loan was divorced from the act of selling it in the first place, so who cared if the recipient of the loan was not at all qualified or the appraisal of the property value was inflated, as long as the paper was traded away, or insured, before the moment of foreclosure?
As with any Ponzi scheme, the perps, who included the legislators as well as the bankers who exploited the loopholes they provided ... READ MORE
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