|Something to think about|
Our #1 story brings us up to date on Fannie and Freddie and the financial meltdown. #2 reviews how bad a year Obama has had. #3 is an interesting look at the worst new regulations the federal government has come up with this year. #4 looks at whether climate warmists actually believe what they are telling us. Hint, they don’t. And finally, #5 lays out 12 predictions about the politics in 2012 by Karl Rove.
1. Fannie and Freddie Update
…Summarized below are the original numbers we relied on, taken from Fannie and Freddie’s own data and from the views of bank regulators—and now supplemented with additional data from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent complaints against certain officers of Fannie and Freddie. Of particular interest are Fannie and Freddie’s non-prosecution agreements with the SEC, in which they agree with facts that confirm—and in many cases go beyond—our original research concerning the scope of the GSEs’ subprime and Alt-A exposure. These are facts, and Nocera and others who might wish it otherwise should become familiar with them.
For example, IN ITS NON-PROSECUTION AGREEMENT FREDDIE AGREED THAT AS OF JUNE 30, 2008, IT HAD $244 BILLION IN SUBPRIME LOANS, COMPRISING 14 PERCENT OF ITS CREDIT GUARANTY PORTFOLIO, RATHER THAN THE $6 BILLION IT HAD PREVIOUSLY DISCLOSED. Freddie also agreed that it had $541 billion in reduced documentation loans alone, vastly more than the $190 billion in previously disclosed Alt-A loans which Freddie had said included loans with reduced documentation.
While the SEC documents about $1.03 trillion in previously undisclosed subprime and Alt-A loans in Fannie and Freddie’s credit guaranty portfolios, an estimated $812.8 billion, or about 80 percent, were already accounted for in the totals of Fannie and Freddie subprime and Alt-A exposures included in Pinto’s Forensic Study and Wallison’s Dissent from the majority report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
THE SEC FINDINGS ADD $219 BILLION AND 1.43 MILLION LOANS TO OUR ORIGINAL FANNIE AND FREDDIE SUBPRIME AND ALT-A TOTALS, BRINGING THE COMBINED SUBPRIME AND ALT-A TOTAL TO $2.041 TRILLION and 13.37 million loans...
The left continues to scream greed, but facts are facts. Was greed involved? Of course it was. Would the crisis have hit if the government hadn’t been pushing subprime loans? NO.
2. Obama’s annus horribilis
President Obama has had the worst year of his presidency. Or, to be more precise, HIS PERFORMANCE THIS YEAR HAS BEEN THE WORST OF HIS PRESIDENCY. Pundits and pollsters will say that his “numbers are up,” but let’s look at what he’s done or not done.
If you can recall, back in February his State of the Union address was a bore-a-thon stocked with spending ideas (on everything from light rail to salmon), with only glancing reference to the debt. His grand proposal: Freeze discretionary spending at the astronomically high level he had presided over in his first two years.
The next few months were spent bashing the only man to author a serious budget plan and put real Medicare reform on the table. HE NOT ONLY REBUFFED REP. PAUL RYAN’S PROPOSALS BUT INVITED HIM TO A SPEECH, PUT HIM IN THE FIRST ROW AND THEN DELIVERED A HYPER-PARTISAN ATTACK, accusing the Republicans of taking Pell grants from college kids so fat cats could get a break on corporate jets.
Throughout the spring and summer the president failed to present his own entitlement reform plans. He caved on the continuing resolution and on the debt ceiling deal, upsetting the left because he hadn’t hiked taxes on the rich. In the fall it was time for his taxpayer-paid bus tour on which he bashed Republicans using some of the most egregious language of his presidency. (ACCORDING TO THE PRESIDENT, THE GOP WANTS YOU TO BREATHE DIRTY AIR AND WON’T PUT COUNTRY ABOVE PARTY.) His own “jobs” bill was a feeble retread of his stimulus plan. It was largely ignored, save the payroll tax cut. The president insisted on a two-month deal to embarrass the GOP. We passed the $15 trillion mark on the debt. Unemployment remains at historically high levels.
IT WAS A YEAR OF SHOCKING IRRESPONSIBILITY AND DEMAGOGUERY. He denounced the Ryan-Wyden Medicare plan as he had Ryan’s original Medicare reform plan. He let the Simpson-Bowles debt reduction plan wither on the vine. He lifted not a finger to make use of the supercommittee he had agreed to create. He put forth no tax reform plan. If there has been a more slothful performance in and hyper-partisan use of the Oval Office in recent years I am hard-pressed to recall it. Frankly, Congress should run against the do-nothing president….
Obama is shockingly unqualified to be President. He is lazy and has let the American public down on both sides of the aisle.
3. Top 10 Worst Federal Rules of 2011
Hindsight is supposed to be 20/20, but looking back on the past 12 months, it’s tough to see any sense in many of the Administration’s regulatory missteps. Of course, there are bound to be a few howlers WHEN GOVERNMENT CHURNS OUT MORE THAN 3,500 RULES IN A YEAR, including dozens unleashed by Obamacare, Dodd–Frank, and the perpetually errant Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But by any standard, 2011 brought forth a remarkable number and variety of regulatory blunders.
Fair warning: Our Top 10 list may prove fatal to any bit of faith in government as a “fixer,” if faith somehow has managed to survive despite all evidence to the contrary. In any event, it should steel our resolve to fight the Leviathan in the coming year.
1. THE DIM BULBS RULE….
Read them all. It will reinforce that one of the biggest lies in America is the statement, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
4. Do Warmists Really Believe in Global Warming?
…You can’t necessarily tell what people are truly committed to from what they say. However, you can always tell what they are truly committed to by how they negotiate. IF SOMEONE REALLY WANTS TO DO SOMETHING, THEY WILL REACT TO A SUGGESTION BY ENGAGING IT. THEY WILL “WORK WITH” THE SUGGESTION, TRYING TO SEE HOW IT CAN HELP THEM DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY WANT TO DO. If someone says that they want to do something but they really have some other agenda, they will respond to a suggestion with an instant, “Yes, but…”
The climate change crowd has been frantically “yes, butting” geoengineering, which involves using technology to control the climate directly. Their efforts in this regard would be hilarious if the stakes in terms of money and freedom were not so high.
IT IS OBVIOUS THAT EVEN IF “CLIMATE CHANGE” IS HAPPENING, AND EVEN IF IT IS A BAD THING, IT IS NOT GOING TO BE REVERSED BY REDUCING CO2 EMISSIONS. Despite decades of climate change conferences, protocols, and agreements, fossil fuel use has been rising rapidly as people all over the world have adopted free market economics as a way of escaping poverty. So, IF ANYTHING AT ALL IS GOING TO BE DONE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, IT WILL HAVE TO BE DONE BY “GEOENGINEERING”.
Geoengineering is a far more logical response to “global warming” than are efforts to curb CO2 emissions. First of all, geoengineering does not require that our assumption that it is man-made CO2 emissions that are causing the problem be correct. IT WOULD WORK REGARDLESS OF WHAT WAS “REALLY” CAUSING GLOBAL TEMPERATURES TO RISE. Second, THERE ARE GEOENGINEERING APPROACHES THAT COULD COOL THE EARTH AT A COST OF A FEW BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR, RATHER THAN TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR. And, third, geoengineering does not require that the people of the world surrender their personal and economic freedom.
Given that geoengineering has the potential to actually do something about the climate change “problem”, the reaction of the climate change crowd to it has been illuminating. THEY HAVE GONE ALL-OUT TO STOP GEOENGINEERING EXPERIMENTS FROM BEING CONDUCTED, and they are doing everything they can to prevent geoengineering from even being discussed.
Climate change proponents recently mounted a desperate effort to stop an experiment in Britain designed to spray 40 gallons of pure water into the upper atmosphere (the so-called SPICE project). Thus far, they have managed to delay the test, and THEY ARE ARGUING THAT EVEN IF THE EXPERIMENT GOES AHEAD, THE RESULTS SHOULD NOT BE MADE PUBLIC.
The Progressives are well aware that their opposition to geoengineering experiments exposes their entire game, which is all about money, power, and central-planning control of people’s lives, and has nothing to do with concern about the earth. Unfortunately (for them), they have no choice. Geoengineering solutions might actually work, but they do not require that Progressives be given taxpayer money to hold lavish conferences in lovely places like Durban, South Africa…
Progressives like to charge anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the AGW hypothesis doesn’t believe in science. In reality, Progressives don’t believe in liberty. They believe in philosopher kings who rule in the interest of the masses.
5. Karl Rove’s Predictions for 2012
As New Year's approaches, here are a baker's dozen predictions for 2012.
• REPUBLICANS WILL KEEP THE U.S. HOUSE, albeit with their 25-seat majority slightly reduced. In the 10 presidential re-elections since 1936, the party in control of the White House has added House seats in seven contests and lost them in three. The average gain has been 12 seats. The largest pickup was 24 seats in 1944—but President Barack Obama is no FDR, despite what he said in his recent "60 Minutes" interview.
• REPUBLICANS WILL TAKE THE U.S. SENATE. Of the 23 Democratic seats up in 2012, there are at least five vulnerable incumbents (Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania): The GOP takes two or three of these. With the announcement on Tuesday that Nebraska's Ben Nelson will retire, there are now seven open Democratic seats (Connecticut, Hawaii, North Dakota, New Mexico, Virginia, Wisconsin): The GOP takes three or four. Even if Republicans lose one of the 10 seats they have up, they will have a net pickup of four to six seats, for a majority of 51 to 53.
… After failing to win the GOP presidential nomination, RON PAUL WILL NOT RUN AS A THIRD-PARTY CANDIDATE because that would put his son, Rand Paul, in an untenable position: Does the Republican senator from Kentucky support his father and effectively re-elect Mr. Obama, or back his party and defeat him?...
… The economic recovery will continue to be anemic, leaving both unemployment and concerns about whether the president is up to the job high on Election Day. Because of this, MR. OBAMA WILL LOSE AS HIS MARGINS DROP AMONG FIVE GROUPS ESSENTIAL TO HIS 2008 VICTORY—INDEPENDENTS, WOMEN, LATINOS, YOUNG PEOPLE AND JEWS. While he will win a majority from at least three of these groups, he won't win them by as much as he did last time…
Predictions are always fun to read. Enjoy this article.