Monday, April 28, 2008

Massive California Newspaper Circulation Losses

Even a well respected former LA Times editor calls his former newspaper a "laughingstock":
"Ken Reich: L.A. Times Becoming A "Lauging Stock"

Former L.A. Times editor Ken Reich has some harsh words for new head ed Russ Stanton and his policies — particularly the "cracking down" on using anonymous sources. Reich notes that former LAT reporter Barry Bearak had a terrifically interesting account in the Sunday NYT of his imprisonment for publishing reports about the Zimbabwean election — stories dependent upon anonymous..."

I don’t think the problem with the LAT is so much the left/liberal bias, as it is the PRETENDING that they don’t have a left/liberal bias, and the unwillingness of just about *ANY* paper to take a right/conservative tack. Even the Wall Street Journal, the closest major paper to a right/conservative stance, remains in favor of the open borders immigration flood and full of "multiculatural" pap, for example.

Obviously, the growth of internet news and other news sources means that newspapers are consolidating. Few cities have more than one substantial newspaper anymore. But this is also because people are sick and tired of "newspapers" that pretend objectivity, but have none.

I think American newspapers will have to follow the British model: admit they have a point of view, and defend it. It is understood in the UK that the Telegraph is independent-rightist, the Times (London) A Tory house organ, the Guardian a Labour house organ, and the Daily Mirror is independent-left (borderline tabloid, that one, but let’s not quibble). And in that country, people often subscribe to two or more newspapers and compare and contrast.

Let’s just look at cable news. Isn’t it given that CNN is more left/liberal, save for a few mavericks like Glenn Beck, and Fox News is more right/conservative, save for a few like Geraldo or Colmes?

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if, say the San Diego Union Tribune or the Orange County Register openly chose to be the right/republican house organ for SoCal, and the LA Times conceeded openly that it was the left/democrat party house organ? People could actually buy BOTH newspapers and compare and contrast.

Meanwhile, in NorCal, it is no surprise that the McClatchy papers (The Bees) acquired the Knight-Ridder papers (Mercury News), and that circulation for both papers declines. How many left/liberal papers can an area with less population than Los Angeles support?

Today the papers operate in an echo chamber, and no rival paper calls them on their all too frequently made up "news". What if the OC Register had a regular feature where they called the L.A. "Slimes" on their made up crapola?

Lacking that, the task falls to the "pajama army" of blogger amateur pundits. That the papers "respond" by creating their own online sites is no help, because those online sites are just online versions of the same lamestream media echo chambers.

Or take CNN vs. Fox News for example. Now Rupert Murdoch is hardly a fire-breathing Republican (he may be a "conservtive" by Aussie standards, but that is a whle different story). But he saw that many people were unhappy with the selective coverage of CNN, and those unhappy tuned into his Fox News with a vengeance. CNN, in response, stopped being yet another echo chamber and began to sharpen its coverage, and even (gasp) hired some right/conservtive hosts like Glenn Beck. Eventually CNN vs. Fox News may turn into Coke vs. Pepsi media style.

The point is, the competition improved both networks.

You know, if the ghost of Mr. Hearst could speak, he would be telling the dolts who run the Chronicle to take a hard right tack. Admittedly this would be hard to do in San Fransicko, but with the Bee and Mercury News basically echoing the same point of view, the left/liberal point of view is basically tapped out in the North.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thomas Sowell: The Economics of College

This three-part series by Thomas Sowell debunks some of the leftist myths about a college education. It is amusing, but sad, when you see fools with bumper stickers that say "If you think education is expensive try ignorance!" when THEY are the ones advocating and often pushing pseudo-educational garbage that has dumbed down academia, and the nation, AND made it more expensive.

The Economics of College , part one:
A front-page headline in the New York Times captures much of the economic confusion of our time: "Fewer Options Open to Pay for Costs of College."

The whole article is about the increased costs of college, the difficulties parents have in paying those costs, and the difficulties that both students and parents have in trying to borrow the money needed when their current incomes will not cover college costs.

All that is fine for a purely "human interest" story. But making economic policies on the basis of human interest stories — which is what politicians increasingly do, especially in election years — has a big down side for those people who do not happen to be in the categories chosen to write human interest stories about.

The general thrust of human interest stories about people with economic problems, whether they are college students or people faced with mortgage foreclosures, is that the government ought to come to their rescue, presumably because the government has so much money and these individuals have so little.

Like most "deep pockets," however, the government's deep pockets come from vast numbers of people with much shallower pockets. In many cases, the average taxpayer has lower income than the people on whom the government lavishes its financial favors.

Costs are not just things for government to help people to pay. Costs are telling us something that is dangerous to ignore.

The inadequacy of resources to produce everything that everyone wants is the fundamental fact of life in every economy — capitalist, socialist or feudal. This means that the real cost of anything consists of all the other things that could have been produced with those same resources.

Building a bridge means using up resources that could have been used building homes or a hospital. Going to college means using up vast amounts of resources that could be used for all sorts of other things.

Prices force people to economize. Subsidizing prices enables people to take more resources away from other uses without having to weigh the real cost.

Without market prices that convey the real costs of resources denied to alternative users, people waste.

That was the basic reason why Soviet industries used far more electricity than American industries to produce a far smaller output than American industries produced. That is why they used far more steel and cement to produce less than Japan or Germany produced when making things that required steel and cement.

When you pay the full cost — that is, the full value of the resources in alternative uses — you tend to economize. When you pay less than that, you tend to waste.

Whether someone goes to college at all, what kind of college, and whether they remain on campus to do postgraduate work, are all questions about how much of the resources that other people want are to be taken away and used by those on whom we have arbitrarily focused in human interest stories.

This is not just a question about robbing Peter to pay Paul. The whole society's standard of living is lower when resources are shifted from higher valued uses to lower valued uses and wasted by those who are subsidized or otherwise allowed to pay less.

The fact that the Soviet economic system allowed industries to use resources wastefully meant that the price was paid not in money but in a far lower standard of living for the Soviet people than the available technology and resources were capable of producing.

The Soviet Union was one of the world's most richly endowed nations in natural resources — if not the most richly endowed. Yet many of its people lived almost as if they were in the Third World.

How many people would go to college if they had to pay the real cost of all the resources taken from other parts of the economy? Probably a lot fewer people.

Moreover, when paying their own money, there would probably not be nearly as many people parting with hard cash to study feel-good subjects with rap sessions instead of serious study.

There would probably be fewer people lingering on campus for the social scene or as a refuge from adult responsibilities in the real world.
The Economics of College, Part II 
Those who argue that the taxpayers should be forced to subsidize people who go to colleges and universities seldom bother to think beyond the notion that education is a Good Thing.

Some education is not only a good thing but a great thing. But, like most good things, there are limits to how much of it is good — and how good compared to other uses of the resources required.

In other words, education is not a Good Thing categorically in unlimited amounts, for people of all levels of ability, interest and willingness to work.

Nor is there any obvious way to set an arbitrary limit. These are questions that no given individual can answer for a whole society.

The most we can do is confront individuals with the costs that their choices are imposing on others who want the same resources for other purposes, and are willing to pay for those resources.

Those who cannot bring themselves to face the tough choices that reality presents often seek escape to some kind of fairy godmother — the government or, more realistically, the taxpayers.

When the idea of conscripting taxpayers to play the role of fairy godmother for some arbitrarily selected favorites of the intelligentsia, "the poor" are often used as human shields behind which to advance toward their goal.

What will happen to the poor if there are no government subsidies for college?

If this argument is meant seriously, rather than being simply a political talking point, then there can always be some means test used to decide who qualifies as poor and then subsidize just those people — rather than the vastly larger number of other claimants for government largesse who advance toward the national treasury, using the poor as human shields.

Another option would be to allow students to sign enforceable contracts by which lenders would pay their college or university expenses in exchange for a given percentage of their future earnings.

That way, students would be issuing stocks to raise capital, the way corporations do, instead of being limited to borrowing money to be paid back in fixed amounts — the latter being equivalent to issuing corporate bonds.

Not only would this get the conscripted taxpayers out of the picture, it would also make it unnecessary for parents to go into hock to put their children through college.

Still, the financially poorest student in the land could get money to go to college, with a good academic record and a promising career from which to pay dividends on the lender's investment.

More fundamentally, it would confront the prospective college student with the full costs of all the resources required for a college education.

Those who are not serious — which includes a remarkably large number of students, even at good colleges — would have to back off and go face the realities of the adult world in the job market. But not as many jobs would be able to require college degrees if such degrees were no longer so readily available at someone else's expense.

If individuals issuing stock in themselves sounds impossible, it has already been done. Boxers from poor families get trained and promoted at their managers' expense, in exchange for a share of their future earnings.

Even some college students have already gotten money to pay for college in exchange for a share of their future earnings. However, in the current atmosphere, where college is seen as a "right," there has been resentment at having to pay back more than was lent when the recipient's degree brings in large paychecks.

What is truly repugnant to some people about college students issuing stocks as well as bonds is that this not only takes the government out of the picture, it takes the intelligentsia out of the picture as prescribers of how other people ought to behave.

Reality can be hard to adjust to. The most we can do is see that the adjustments are made by those who get the benefits, instead of making the taxpayer the one who has to do all the adjusting.
The Economics of College, Part III
Why does college cost so much?

There are two basic reasons. The first is that people will pay what the colleges charge. The second is that there is little incentive for colleges to reduce the tuition they charge.

Those who want the government to provide subsidies to help meet the high cost of college seem not to consider whether government subsidies might have contributed to the high cost of college in the first place.

In any kind of economic transaction, it seldom makes sense to charge prices so high that very few people can afford to pay them. But, with the government ready to step in and help whenever tuition is "unaffordable," why not charge more than the traffic will bear and bring in Uncle Sam to make up the difference?

The president of a small college once told me that, if he charged tuition that was affordable, even an institution the size of his would lose millions of dollars of government money every year.

In a normal market situation, each competing enterprise has an incentive to lower prices if that would attract business away from competitors and increase its profits.

Unfortunately, the academic world is not a normal market situation.

Some of the ways of cutting costs that a business might use are not available to a college or university because of restrictions by the accrediting agencies and the American Association of University Professors.

There was a time, back in the early 1960s, when my academic career began, when many — if not most — colleges had their faculty teaching 12 semester hours and a few had teaching loads of 15 semester hours.

Spending even 15 hours a week in a classroom may not seem like a lot to people who spend 35 or 40 hours a week on the job. However, there is also much time required to prepare lectures, grade tests and do other miscellaneous campus chores.

Even so, 12 hours a week in a classroom is not a killing pace, especially for professors who have taught a few years and have their lecture notes from previous years to help prepare for the current year's classes.

But that was then and this is now. Today, a teaching load of more than 6 semester hours is considered sweatshop labor on many campuses.

Incidentally, since academic class hours are 50 minutes long, 6 semester hours mean actually 5 hours a week in the classroom.

Why was it considered necessary to cut the teaching load in half? Mainly because professors were expected to do more research.

Why was more research considered necessary? Because research brings in more money from the government, from foundations and from other sources.

On many campuses, a beginning faculty member cannot expect to be promoted to a tenure position unless he or she brings research money into the campus coffers.

Once 6 semester hours of teaching becomes the norm, an individual college that tried to economize by having its faculty teach 9 or 12 semester hours could run into trouble with the American Association of University Professors and the accrediting agencies.

The University of Colorado law school had its accreditation by the American Bar Association put in jeopardy simply because they did not spend enough money on books for their law library — even though their students passed the bar exam on the first try at a higher rate than the law students at Harvard and Yale.

The criteria used by most accrediting agencies are based on inputs — essentially spending — rather than results for students.

Competition among academic institutions therefore seldom takes the form of lowering their costs of operation, in order to lower tuition. The incentives are all the other way.

Competition often takes the form of offering more upscale amenities — posh lounges, bowling alleys, wi-fi, finer dorms.

None of this means better education. But, so long as the customers keep buying it — with government help — the colleges will keep selling it.

Does John McCain really want to win this?

McCain and the RINOs really *don't* want to win this. I can't help but think that McCain is a patsy, foisted on the GOP by manipulation of early open primaries and a winner-take-all primary system. McCain took advantage of front-loaded, winner take all, and "open" primary elections, where he could get enough "independent" (read Demo) spoiler votes to carry him over the top. The system of proportional delegates that the Democrat Party has, ironically, is much more fair. If the GOP had such a primary system, Mitt Romney (or ideally, someone far more palatable) would still be in this.
Would the GOP then be potentially vulnerable to an "Operation Chaos" by the Left? Perhaps. But AT LEAST some real issues would get hashed out. The Bushyrovie strategy of pretending certain issues (like immigration) are not a problem and sweeping them under the rug simply does not work.
Sadly, after McCain's willingness to go along with the phony "global warming" hoax, and after McCain's mea culpa for voting against the MLK holiday 25 years ago (which was the right thing to do at the time, because the government unions were demanding another holiday with pay with no concessions on their part), I am not surprised. As if the eco-fiends and the black militants are EVER going to vote Republican anyway?
Someone needs to tell the GOP "Leadership" the simple fact: You can't pander to certain groups who are only going to hate you no matter what you do!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The media herd now backs Obama

It looks like it is over for Hillary Clinton. Last week's ABC debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton made lots of liberals unhappy. In particular, they did not care for the questions that moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos posed to Barack Obama, including the ones about his friendship with unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.

A group of 41 "journalists and media analysts" have signed an "open letter" to ABC in which, according to The Nation (a leftover communist magazine with which five of the signatories are affiliated), they "condemn the network's poor handling" of the debate. Here's how the letter closes:

Neither Mr. Gibson nor Mr. Stephanopoulos lived up to these responsibilities. In the words of Tom Shales of the Washington Post, Mr. Gibson and Mr. Stephanopoulos turned in "shoddy, despicable performances." As Greg Mitchell of Editor and Publisher describes it, the debate was a "travesty." We hope that the public uproar over ABC's miserable showing will encourage a return to serious journalism in debates between the Democratic and Republican nominees this fall. Anything less would be a betrayal of the basic responsibilities that journalists owe to their public.
The media minions have chosen their side.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Obama: The Truth Comes Out

Thomas Sowell has it right--Obama is A Living Lie:
...while Hillary Clinton tells lies, Barack Obama is himself a lie. That is becoming painfully apparent with each new revelation of how drastically his carefully crafted image this election year contrasts with what he has actually been saying and doing for many years.

Senator Obama's election year image is that of a man who can bring the country together, overcoming differences of party or race, as well as solving our international problems by talking with Iran and other countries with which we are at odds, and performing other miscellaneous miracles as needed.

There is, of course, not a speck of evidence that Obama has ever transcended party differences in the United States Senate. Voting records analyzed by the National Journal show him to be the farthest left of anyone in the Senate. Nor has he sponsored any significant bipartisan legislation — nor any other significant legislation, for that matter.

Senator Obama is all talk — glib talk, exciting talk, confident talk, but still just talk.

Some of his recent talk in San Francisco has stirred up controversy because it revealed yet another blatant contradiction between Barack Obama's public image and his reality.

Speaking privately to supporters in heavily left-liberal San Francisco, Obama described working class people in Pennsylvania as so "bitter" that they "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."

Like so much that Obama has said and done over the years, this is standard stuff on the far left, where guns and religion are regarded as signs of psychological dysfunction — and where opinions different from those of the left are ascribed to emotions ("bitter" in this case), rather than to arguments that need to be answered.

Like so many others on the left, Obama rejects "stereotypes" when they are stereotypes he doesn't like but blithely throws around his own stereotypes about "a typical white person" or "bitter" gun-toting, religious and racist working class people.

In politics, the clearer a statement is, the more certain it is to be followed by a "clarification," when people react adversely to what was plainly said.

Obama and his supporters were still busy "clarifying" Jeremiah Wright's very plain statements when it suddenly became necessary to "clarify" Senator Obama's own statements in San Francisco.

People who have been cheering whistle-blowers for years have suddenly denounced the person who blew the whistle on what Obama said in private that is so contradictory to what he has been saying in public.

Obama is also part of a long tradition on the left of being for the working class in the abstract, or as people potentially useful for the purposes of the left, but having disdain or contempt for them as human beings.
Karl Marx said, "The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing." In other words, they mattered only in so far as they were willing to carry out the Marxist agenda.
What is sad is that the liberal media will go into full coverage mode for him as it becomes apparent that he is the nominee. Hillary Clinton must really be pissed--to lose the nomination to *this* guy? But such are the rules of Democrat Party Victim Poker, Hillary.

But the Truth doesn't just come out about Obama--it comes out about the liberal media:
...but Obama's condescension is not rare. New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof recently wrote, "Barack Obama's skin color may cost him some working-class white voters, but it's also winning some votes among blacks and among whites eager to signal their open-mindedness."

Kristof meant well, but he apparently is so open-minded that he lumped working-class whites into the heap of lesser beings who — unlike him? — buy into noxious stereotypes. Note that when Latinos don't vote for Obama, pundits don't automatically assume it's about race. Ditto college-educated whites. Only working-class whites are so quickly presumed racist.
And for that matter, about the San Francisco and other California coastal liberal elites:
Get it? If any blue-collar workers vote Republican, it cannot be because they had good reason. No, they must have been tricked into doing so, so they can't be very smart.

The attitude is that what these folks believe in is not important — be it the right to protect themselves or that federal immigration laws mean something. Democrats like Obama and Dean know what really is in these voters' self-interest.

Obama later admitted, "I didn't say it as well as I should have." No lie. His big mistake was that he played to the conceit of Bay Area liberals when he was asked how to appeal to Pennsylvania voters, whom, Obama was quick to note, can be "culturally" very different from San Franciscans.

In Obama's answer, one could hear that he is wise to the precious Bay Area liberal lament: Oh why, oh why isn't the rest of America as enlightened as we are?

And: If only the rest of America were better educated, then folks would turn in their hunting rifles and head for the sushi bar, sneer at devout evangelical Christians and happily hire immigrant gardeners — just like we do.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Media Unsatisfied with McCain on Housing

This is a quick note on media bias I noticed in my small-town paper. The AP article carried in the Merced Sun-Star under the headline "Uncertain economy awaits next president" by Tom Raum.

Innocent enough, right? I mean, there is the not-especially-subtle implication that the current President isn't doing anything to help the economy, but at least it's an issue that any candidate can address. Well, sort of. Clearly, this is an issue where it is more difficult to explain how a laissez-faire approach is likely to have a much more beneficial effect than a "let's spend taxpayer's money" approach. From that perspective, the assumption is that the government should be managing the market and that approach favors the statists.

There is also this little nugget near the beginning of the article, when discussing the possible impact of the length of a recession

[...] if the economy hits bottom before Inauguration Day and then turns up, the victor may be handed a rare gift: the chance to begin a presidency presiding over the early stages of a rebound.

I don't suppose that it would have been worth pointing out that that was the exact economy inherited by Bill Clinton, just one presidency ago? Or that, by contrast, the poor economy that faced George W. Bush at the beginning of his first term had started under Clinton/Gore?

But, the actual bias complaint I have comes later on in the article. After briefly describing the approaches outlined by Clinton, Obama, and McCain, author Raum summarizes the three thus:

The two Democrats are calling for a more activist role for the U.S. government to protect individuals. McCain is echoing standard GOP dogma of protecting markets and opposing bailouts.

Get it? The Democrats want to "protect individuals" while McCain merely echoes "standard GOP dogma". Now, how is it possible for a journalist to write a paragraph like that and not know he is biasing his characterization of the two approaches?

To be fair, the complete article (as per the above link) spends several "below the fold" paragraphs on public perception of the economy and even notes that some (in reality, most) economists are doubtful that anything proposed by the candidates will be relevant by the time they attain office. But none of that made it to the print edition (which ends after the "Since all three..." paragraph), leaving the reader with the impression that McCain basically isn't concerned about the economy and has no plan to address it.

Why McCain considers the press corps an ally is a mystery to me. They may love him on the campaign bus, but he can't expect that love to make it onto the printed page. At least not when his opponents are Democrats...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Absolut Treason

I will never have any Absolut Vodka, or any other product put out by these treasonous scum, again.

Boycott Absolut... they wouldn't run an ad like this in Greece and Turkey, or in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, or in India and Pakistan. This is a blatant insult to American consumers. Don't reward them with your dollars. Plenty of other Vodkas out there.
(That extreme ethno-supremacist idea, of course, is not news to anyone who has paid attention to the massive illegal alien marches of the past two years — where "This is our continent, not yours" has been a rallying mainstay.) As part of its "In an Absolut World" campaign in print magazines and on billboards, the company featured a large color photo of a redrawn map of the continental United States. The ad imposed pre-1848 borders on America, with Mexico swallowing up California, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona.

Here's how Favio Ucedo, creative director of leading U.S. Latino advertising agency Grupo Gallegos, which was not involved in the Absolut campaign, explained the reconquista-endorsing ad to the Los Angeles Times: "Mexicans talk about how the Americans stole their land, so this is their way of reclaiming it. It's very relevant and the Mexicans will love the idea."

Oops. Guess he didn't get the liberal talking points manual: You're supposed to deny that reconquista exists and label anyone who criticizes it as a delusional racist. And remember: The National Council of La Raza ("the race") claims that reconquista is just a "code word" invented by conservative "hate groups" who are dreaming the whole thing up.
Absolut's initial response to complaints was to hang up on consumers who phoned and to delete their e-mail without bothering to read it. But the controversy spread like a California wildfire stoked by Internet Santa Ana winds. In the first of two statements, Absolut Vice President of Corporate Communications Paula Eriksson attempted to douse the flames by touting the company's embrace-diversity ethos. "As a global company," she pedantically intoned, "we recognize that people in different parts of the world may lend different perspectives or interpret our ads in a different way than was intended in that market. Obviously, this ad was run in Mexico, and not the U.S. — that ad might have been very different."

That arrogant, p.c. sanctimony had the effect of pouring gas on the flames. So over the weekend, Eriksson issued a new statement announcing withdrawal of the ad. It was comically titled "We apologize" — and disingenuously argued that "In no way was the ad meant to offend or disparage, or advocate an altering of borders, lend support to any anti-American sentiment, or to reflect immigration issues. This is a genuine and sincere apology."

For its part, the open-borders Associated Press attempted to minimize the widespread opposition to the Absolut ad from Americans and persisted in labeling reconquista views "fringe." I direct them to the speech given two weeks ago in San Bernardino by Hillary Clinton campaign co-chair Dolores Huerta, who railed, "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us" and gloated that immigration enforcement is moot because the reconquista is won. "It's really too late," Huerta said. "If 47 million (Latinos) have one baby each, it's already won."

Maybe Absolut should hire Huerta as its next spokesperson.
Maybe Dolores Huerta ought to be tried and deported....

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Barack Obama Will Win the Primary

And given GOP infighting, the election. Oddly, this election was originally Hillary's. And arguably, given the primary nomination rules, Hillary was rooked badly.

But as Dick Morris explains, Hillary tried to have her cake and eat it too. And despite his bias and vendetta against the Clintons, Dick Morris is right.
Hillary always tries to put one over on us. She refused to release her financial records and tax returns and figured we'd never notice. She spoke vaguely of her sympathy with those who wanted to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and bet that the media would never force her to articulate a real position.
Hillary tried to make her insistence on mandatory health insurance the lynchpin of her differences with Obama and assumed that she would never have to explain how she would enforce it. Her campaign was funded by lobbyists — and Obama's was not — but she guessed that it would never become an issue. She and Bill kept dropping hints about racial issues in the campaign, but they decided nobody would call them on it.

Mrs. Clinton believed that she could support the Iraq war until moments before her presidential candidacy began and that the anti-war movement would welcome her as one of their own anyway.

Friday, April 04, 2008

What is "predatory lending"?

It is Affirmative Action Lending! Something the Affirmative Action liberals won't admit:
...the real cause of the housing mess is a classic bubble in the housing market, the bursting of which has hammered lenders as well as borrowers. If the housing market had continued to rise, we never would have heard complaints about subprime loans. In fact, Washington had long encouraged these sorts of loans through the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) as a way to make marginal — largely minority — borrowers into homeowners.

What's the difference between socially responsible loans extending the American dream to deserving people with poor credit histories and predatory lending? It's whether those loans work out or not. If they don't, lenders suddenly become "predatory." Strangely, the more "predatory" they become, the more likely they are to go out of business under the weight of worthless mortgages.

Consider Countrywide Financial, a leading purveyor of subprime loans rocked by the housing downturn. A few years ago, everyone was covering Countrywide in laurels. In 2000, the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion named Countrywide "Corporation of the Year" for "outstanding work in the Latino community"; in 2004, the National Housing Conference lauded Countrywide's CEO for his "longstanding commitment to reducing the barriers to homeownership"; in 2005, the Lending Industry Diversity Conference gave Countrywide its "Best in Minority Lending Award."

Though Countrywide wasn't technically covered by the CRA, it complied with the act. The CRA forced lenders to lower their standards to get mortgages to more minorities and permitted the "securitization" — the sale on secondary markets — of subprime loans. Hillary Clinton complains, "Subprime loans are five times more likely in predominantly black neighborhoods." As if that weren't the entire point.

As long as the market continued going up, subprime loans were good deals. People got an appreciating asset without spending much on it. If they got in trouble, they could sell or easily refinance.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

San Francisco *promotes* welfare for illegal aliens

San Francisco is overtaxed and its streets still need lots of fixing, but lowlife scumbag Mayor Gavin Newsom can’t give away taxpayer money fast enough to illegal aliens. In order to speed up the waste of money, he has decided to advertise the fact that the city is a sanctuary for illegals (and has been since 1989).

A series of new television and radio commercials, billboards and bus shelter signs will soon go up around San Francisco advertising the fact that the city by the bay is also a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

City officials on Wednesday unveiled the $83,000 ad campaign, which features images of smiling residents and the iconic city skyline and spreads the message in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian. Brochures, which will be handed out in public buildings like police stations and hospitals, promise safe access to city services for the undocumented and a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy when it comes residency status.

“We are standing up to say to all of our residents: We don’t care what your status is,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said. “We care that you, as a human being, are a resident of our city and we want you to participate in the life of our city.”
And why would the scumbag do this?
Mayor Gavin Newsom said the U.S. census has somehow overlooked 100,000 San Francisco residents and the city is failing to collect millions of dollars in federal funding as a result.
That's why I call these people Commiecrats. Pravda had nothing on the SF Chronicle.