Archive for the ‘Bail-Outs’ Category

The Gumby Candidacy: Why I’m Ecstatic Over Fehrnstrom’s Remarks

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

How Plastic Can He Get?

When Romney Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom placed both feet squarely in his mouth on Wednesday in an interview with CNN, I was thrilled.  Some may wonder why this would be, since all Fehrnstrom did was to confirm what most of you have known from the outset:  Mitt Romney is Gumby.  He is able and willing to flex and fold and spindle and mutilate all of his previous positions according to the political expediency of the moment.  Honestly, I am ecstatic not merely because it validates what I’ve been telling you about Romney all along, but that the voters in the GOP will now be armed with the reality about who this man is and how he operates.  Fehrnstrom, who’s worked with Mitt Romney since he was Governor of Massachusetts, is as good a source as any. Conservatives should consider this a gift, because it finally gives us the evidence we need to show Mitt Romney for what he really is:  A plastic, flexible, morally indecisive man who believes whatever the polls say he ought to believe to garner the most political support.

Let’s consider this carefully, together with the other news of the day, and recognize what Romney really is.  Consider what Mark Levin offered on his radio show Wednesday evening, when he pointed out that Fehrnstrom never even attempted to refute the assertion of the questioner.  Instead, it was accepted as fact that he is indeed tacking right for the primaries.  If he’s tacking right, where he must have originated is somewhere to the left.  That’s simple logic, and the fact that Fehrnstrom never challenged it tells us that it’s true.  I would love for one Romney supporter to offer a single refutation of that premise that makes any sense, but I don’t expect it now, or later.

Romney has also said he was in favor of TARP, and then that he wasn’t so sure, but now he’s clearly back on the TARP bandwagon, by saying today on the campaign trail that George W. Bush and Hank Paulson saved the economy.  He’s talking about TARP!  He said the following:

“I keep hearing the president say he’s responsible for keeping the country out of a Great Depression,” Romney said at a town hall in Arbutus, Maryland. “No, no, no, that was President George W. Bush and [then-Treasury Secretary] Hank Paulson.”

Consider this when you listen to him tell you how he is conservative, but that the other candidates are not.  Given what we’ve learned about his flexible ideology, how long will it before he tells us Obama-care wasn’t such a bad idea?  If you wonder why Republican turn-out is low in so many states, it’s because Romney’s negative campaigning has turned off conservatives.  He’s doing it intentionally because the record clearly demonstrates conservatives don’t like the negative campaigning, particularly Tea Party types.  Romney’s aim is to discourage them to keep them from polling for anybody else.

The Romney campaign is in bunker mode, and this slip-up by Fehrnstrom is likely to do Romney substantial damage.   Fehrnstrom likened Romney to an Etch-a-Sketch, but I think “Gumby” is more appropriate:  He’s easily molded and reshaped and he has the philosophical firmness of an un-fired clay pot.  The worst part of all of this is knowing that he’s trying to get away with it.  He is trying to slide by while never really having committed to much, and too many conservatives, in angst over Obama, are far too willing to surrender to Mitt Romney.  Some may appreciate the potential merits of a Gumby president, but I think what Fehrnstrom’s admission speaks to is a sort of dishonesty on the part of Mitt Romney that is the sort of duplicity that conservatives deplore.

Mold him, shape him, sculpt him and then start over with a squish.  Mitt Romney is no conservative, and we should never nominate him, much less elect him president. He rails against Gingrich and Santorum, but by any objective measure, both men have a record of governing as far more conservative than Mitt Romney as governor the state of Massachusetts.  A vote for Romney may begin as a vote against Barack Obama, but he’s not likely to maintain the most important distinctions beyond the convention.  For conservatives, it is time to get off your butts and be heard in these primaries, selecting anybody but Romney since he’s the leftists’ alternative to Barack Obama.  Time to get up and oppose this guy before he continues the wreckage of the conservatives in our party and conservatism in general.  You now know who this man really is, thanks to Eric Fehrnstrom, and it’s time we exploit this gift to knock out Romney, or at least tamp him down.  I’m not happy he is this way, but I’m thrilled that it’s finally been admitted by one of his own people, albeit inadvertently.

 

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Blowing the Lid Off the Obama Bail-outs: B of A Hiding the Damage?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Where His Bread Is Buttered?

Bank of America has come under fire, and there is now a class-action lawsuit by borrowers who feel as though they are being cheated by the banking giant, and perhaps on behalf of a political agenda.  As has now become plain, Bank of America is using its internal bureaucracy to slow down the wheels long enough for Barack Obama to be re-elected, before the full scope of tax-payer liability is revealed in the whole bank bail-out scheme and mortgage modification scam put forward by the Obama administration.  Borrowers are complaining that they have brought their accounts current under the new modifications to their mortgages, but that the banking giant is keeping them in limbo in order to hide the truly damaging scope of the bail-outs.

You see, the deal isn’t done until each mortgage modification has made its way through the paper-shuffle at the Bank of America, but this is causing trouble for borrowers who have long since gotten their financial house in order and need to secure loans on such things as new cars.  They’re finding out that their credit reports still show the mortgages as overdue, despite the fact that they’ve complied with their agreements on the modifications to their mortgages, some of them longer than two years ago.  Why is it taking Bank of America so long to square things away?  The answer is simple, and political, and it comes down to more subterfuge on behalf of their favorite politicians.  You see, when these deals are finalized, they’ll show a loss, and it will be huge, and they want to be sure to minimize damage until after the November elections.

In the mean time, their now-current mortgage-holders are simply in limbo, and while we can argue that they might deserve a hit on their credit, they would get one anyway, but the truth is that these mortgage holders may have been only a month or two behind, and made the agreement as a stop-gap since so many were recently unemployed at the time.  They didn’t think this would drag on, or that two years later, their credit reports would show them as non-payers on their mortgages for more than two years.  Worse, Bank of America is in receipt of funds for this purpose under the Home Affordable Modification Program(HAMP)

In one case, the complaint against Bank Of America alleges:

“[Bank of America] has serially strung out, delayed, and otherwise hindered the modification processes,” leaving thousands of borrowers “often worse off than they were before they sought a modification.”

This is quite the enterprise.  Bank of America took $25 Billion from the US government in order to facilitate these modifications, and to date, they’ve actually sat on most of that money while tying up the loan modifications in red tape.  Worse, the longer this goes on, the worse the position of those now in limbo.  You might ask why they’d be interested in doing all of this, since they could simply modify the mortgages and move on, but that might be a sticky matter.  Bank of America would have to report large losses that would demonstrate the failure of TARP.  As long as all of these modifications are in limbo, they are neither losses nor does BofA need to disburse any of the $25 billion.  that makes a whale of a difference on balance sheets as reported to investors.

Another reason Bank of America may be keeping this “in process” is that the elections of 2012 are just around the corner, and BofA has made significant investments in the political arena.  A trip to OpenSecrets.org reveals that in 2008 alone, Barack Obama cashed in to the tune of nearly $400,000 from BofA contributors.  In 2012, Mitt Romney has received a fair amount of cash, as has Obama, from Bank of America-related sources.  Coincidence?  Possibly, but Bank of America has so many ties to so many high-ranking politicians, including our previous President that it’s hard to pin this down on a partisan basis.  It looks more like a ruling-class benefit, looking at the objects of political giving associated with Bank of America.

On Tuesday, a tweet came in from none other than Ann Barnhardt with a link to another story about Bank of America, and what the author over at market-ticker thinks of the institution, along with a track-back to what Matt Taibbi, an Occupy Wall Street member has to say about all of this.  At least in this context, Mr. Taibbi is correct:  Bank of America should be allowed to fail.  It’s been propped up and supported and kept afloat with your future tax dollars.  Worse, with politicians of both parties in its hip pocket, there seems to be no end in sight.  It makes it easier to understand how characters like Barack Obama, an anti-capitalist, and Mitt Romney, a self-described “capitalist” both supported TARP, an astonishingly anti-capitalist idea.  It also explains why we, the tax-payers, keep getting placed on the hook for the failures of these firms.

Unless and until we start paying closer attention to whom it is that funds our politicians, we are likely to see this same trend continue unabated.  What does it say about what we’ve let become of capitalism that these large institutions are able to purchase so much influence in our political system?  I don’t have a problem with donations, and I think they should be unlimited, but we voters are going to need to pay attention to the flip-side of that:  We will need to pay attention to the disclosures, and vote accordingly.  As I’ve reported previously, Bank of America along with Chase have moved some risky Euro-based derivatives into coverage by the FDIC.

This needs to cease, and I’m concerned that if we elect Mitt Romney, this will continue like a hand-off from George W. Bush to Barack Obama to Mitt Romney, and that it will continue unabated.  The large banks that are failing need to fail, and the American taxpayer has every reason to expect its government to be good stewards of their money, instead of putting good money after bad.  Here we have a company that has abused its customers in order to take money from the Federal government in order to assist them.  Whatever you may think of the HAMP program philosophically, it was implemented in law, and to see this sort of abuse continue is ridiculous, but to see it continued even longer to allow some politicians cover is a scandal about which we should all be concerned.