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Petty Punishment for the Washington Post

by Keith Koffler on October 24, 2011, 7:19 am

The Washington Post this morning ran an excellent piece about how President Obama has come up way short on his promises to help the housing market.

And so . . .

Today, Obama will travel to Las Vegas where he will outline new steps to help borrowers refinance. The White House leaked the story to the Post’s chief competitors on the national newspaper scene, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as Reuters.

But not the Post.

Quoting administration officials, here’s a portion of the Journal’s description of Obama’s proposal, which it says Obama is expected to talk about Monday:

The overhaul will, among other things, let borrowers refinance regardless of how far their homes have fallen in value, eliminating previous limits. The plan will streamline the refinance process by eliminating appraisals and extensive underwriting requirements for most borrowers. Fannie and Freddie have also agreed to waive some fees that made refinancing less attractive for some.

Here’s the sum of what the Post has on it:

(Obama will) mention a program to be unveiled as soon as Monday that will reduce monthly payments for some underwater borrowers.

Ironically, the Post piece is a balanced article that notes the arguments within the administration about how much could really be done on housing and whether it was the best use of taxpayer money to be bailing out homeowners. Many economists argue that until the housing market is allowed to shake out, with many borrowers losing their homes, the market will never come back and the economy will remain hobbled by the housing sector.

Obama actually comes off looking responsible in the piece, balancing the plaintive letters he reads from homeowners with hard headed economic advice he’s getting from Treasury Secretary Geithner and others.

I assume Post White House Reporter Zachary Goldfarb, who wrote the story, got the full fusillade of profanity-laced fake fury from the White House press office, which is routinely served up to those who write articles the White House doesn’t like.

The purpose of such treatment, and the denial of the housing “scoop” to the Post, would be to get inside Goldfarb’s head so that he doesn’t try this again. Many reporters can’t help but think twice before writing something that will result in verbal abuse, and short-sighted editors get very nervous when the competitors have a story that they don’t.

Hopefully, Goldfarb and his editors will be undeterred.

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Russell October 24, 2011 at 7:50 am

Keith,

You are the only I have seen that is reporting on this Chicago style hit jobs on the WH reporters. So Much for “change” and “transparency”.

Maybe in general you can shed some light into what the other WH reporters have to say about this. Seems to me that you are not the only one that see’s this and is trying to get the word out about it.

Where’s Michelle?

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Keith Koffler October 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Russell, they are afraid to talk about it because they tremble at the thought that the White House will cut their access. But they all know this goes on.

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Patrica October 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

Alright good old fashioned intimidation. Whats next broken knee caps?.. For goodness sakes.
Thug house.

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Russell October 24, 2011 at 9:43 am

Patrica, don’t forget the dead fish mailed to opponents.

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Susan October 24, 2011 at 9:47 am

Didn’t Rahmbo ‘Dead Fish’ Emanuel already do that a few times?

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Star October 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Naked with a towel on–or am I mixing up my stories? We are sort of rid of him now…

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Susan October 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm

We’re not really rid of him Star. He’s running Obama HQ (aka Chicago)…

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Chris M October 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm

The funny thing is, Rahm is now taking on the unions in Chicago. He is a definite improvement over the previous mayor.

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Keith Koffler October 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Right. It’s thuggery.

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Susan October 24, 2011 at 10:05 am

As you sow, so shall you reap. Feel not once of sympathy for these collaborators with the regime. This rag has been the mouthpiece for the Democrat party for as long as they’ve been in existence, and I’m sure they will continue in that role. In the past few months WAPOS has tried to trash Perry with the racist rock, and then accused Rubio of lying about his parents heritage. Nah, serves them right.

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Russell October 24, 2011 at 10:40 am

Very good point Susan.
The Post didn’t just try to trash Perry & Rubio, they DID trash them. So I see your point that maybe they got a taste of there own brew. I think what Keith is reporting that the Post piece was a balanced article and they get this treatment from the WH.

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Keith Koffler October 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Right – just discussing this individual piece. More about the White House than WashPost.

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anneinarkansas October 24, 2011 at 10:07 am

This action by Obama appears to be an end-run around Congress.
What about my large mortgage on my large house that I can not sell?
We are not under water…have high equity but can not sell the house.
I resent this. I want to move to a smaller home and pay cash for it…out of the question now.
We worked hard to get here.
What about us?

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Just2old October 24, 2011 at 10:43 am

We’re in the same boat attempting to retire.

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Not to be a troll, but this does seem to dovetail with OWS. I mean, let’s face it, do you still not believe that the problems in Washington do not include those moneyed interests pulling the levers of power?

This is a sincere question. I have grudgingly conceded that the Tea Party had a point in bringing the debt issue to the fore. But what about those events that finally toppled our economic house of cards? The mortgage crisis, credit card usury, and corruption in high finance? Do you really not see the connection?

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Star October 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Of course, there are similarities–both are raging against the Man–and for some reason, Obama does not see he IS the Man. But I don’t see the OWS thing changing anything–at least the TP brought in some anti-debt reps. Also this OWS thing does not seem spontaneous and could erupt into something bad. I have said for years we are all pawns on the board–even the people who think they are in charge probably aren’t.

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Death Ray October 25, 2011 at 9:16 am

“It’s just astroturf!” “This could lead to militia’s shooting into crowds from their pickup trucks!” Where have we heard this before? Maybe its time that both sides stopped being played.

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Star October 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

Who said any of that? …Wait, did you get Straw Man Store coupons in the mail again?

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Susan October 24, 2011 at 11:55 am

Not sure where he’s getting the money for his new bailout programs, thought his stash was getting low. Guess he’ll get Uncle Ben to print him some more monopoly money. It has been the case, long before Obama showed up on the scene, that the responsible people who live by the rules, work hard, and pay their bills on time always end up footing the bill for the irresponsible. When the country had the wealth to support them it was something most of us accepted and lived with. Our financial situation has changed and it is time for the freeloaders to get to work. No more handouts to those who make irresponsible decisions in life.

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Does that include the wealthy? The ones whose asses have been most preserved at the public’s expense during this depression?

Are you counting the people at Goldman-Sachs, Bank of America, Liehman Bros, etc, as the “hard workers”, the “producers”, the “job creators”? I’m sure you wouldn’t count the executives at Fannie and Freddie, but does your perspective extend to the broader world of Wall Street? For that matter, what about the firms that have benefitted from a decade of our in-and-out wars.

Quit blaming ONLY Washington.

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Susan October 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

If it weren’t for the ‘wealthy’ you wouldn’t have that computer you’re typing on, or the electricity that is driving your access to the world wide web, or the house that you are living in, or even the food you buy at the grocery store. Grow up DR. The gravy train has run out of steam.

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Lizzy October 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm

This country was built by those filthy rich OWS show such
disdain for. Rockefeller, Astors and many more made the
industrial revolution possible or those OWS would be using a quil pen!

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm

My food was picked by day laborers, my electricity comes from Niagara Falls, and the World Wide Web was invented by the Pentagon, paid for with our nickels.

This reflexive need to praise the wealthy FOR their wealth is the rot that is contaminating the arguments that this country is having. You conflate entrepreneurship and innovation with the size of someone’s bank account. The wealthy, if they are the worthy wealthy, have gained their wealth by contributing value to our society and being compensated for it. But the wealthy also take, and how much they take is sometimes very much reflected in how much they already have.

“The gravy train has run out of steam”? Which one… Taggart Transcontinental? Has Atlas shrugged, mm? Are you suggesting that that overwhelming majority of this country has been parasitic on the efforts of a praiseworthy few who just wanted to let their genius flourish? Their genius at creating toxic assets that you and I had to rescue them from? Their genius at having Congress pay their bonuses? Their genius at pilfering their employee’s pensions?

You can shit on the youngin’s at OWS, but a lot of them are exactly the opposite of the hippies you wish they were. They are entering the job market and can’t find jobs. They’ve heard the politicians–the ones on the take from our sainted 1%–openly planning to swindle them out of their share of Social Security, and they aren’t taking it lying down. These are the people who would be building our economy again if Atlas hadn’t kicked them in the fucking BALLS.

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Lizzy October 24, 2011 at 7:46 pm

And the industrial revolution made it possible it’s called
history. Doesn’t matter who picked your food or the fact
that without money lot’s of it no railroads to cross the country and develop the west and the vast supplies of fossil fuels and gold and silver. That’s what made this country great whether you like it or not.

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Did part of your response get deleted? Cuz that made no sense.

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Susan October 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I understood perfectly what you were saying Lizzy. He doesn’t get it because there’s none so blind as those who will not see.

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm

None are so blind as those who think that “without money lot’s of it no railroads to cross the country(…)” is the King’s English.

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Susan October 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm

One thing is for sure the “youngin’s” have learned how to play the victim card and they sure aren’t going to find those jobs wallowing in the filth and debauchery of their mini Babylon’s. Here’s my advice for them — Get off your ass, go take a bath, and start looking for a job. Stop your bellyaching and woe is me and take personal responsibility for where you are in life. We, the citizens of America, don’t owe you anything.

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Take Back Our Streets is just the obverse of Take Back Our Government. Why can’t people see this? It sucks being the Only Sane Man on Earth.

The Occupiers are citizens too, and just in case you haven’t gotten their vibe, they aren’t asking YOU for a damn thing. But I can tell you have been waiting to break out that “go take a bath” line since the 60s (which, I assume, were also YOUR sixties).

By the way, if jobs are so effin’ plentiful does this mean you guys are no longer bothered by the unemployment rate? I guess that’s a win in the Obama column.

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Star October 25, 2011 at 11:26 am

I have worked on my site – http://hopeycopey.blogspot.com – for years now–and individually with unemployed people and yes, jobs are scarce, but you have to suit up and get on it everyday, not sit around some park playing a bongo and waiting for a temp govt job as a flagger or something. I see you are still at it, Death–telling people what they really mean, what they are really saying, scooping words into their mouths–instead of listening even for a minute. It’s always the scatological spewing instead.

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

Hey Koffler! How about two cents on the OWS movement?

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Star October 24, 2011 at 11:34 am

Speaking of–has anyone seen a scene of those protestors burning their ATM cards?

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Brilliant! I was wondering when a symbol for this movement would emerge!

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Star October 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Go tell all your friends… That will really show those banks. Remember Homer Simpson (yes yes my role model) when he was afraid he would lose his wallet to pickpockets on a trip to NY and instead threw his wallet in the fire, saying, “You won’t get this!”

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ol' gator October 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Oh yes, Keith you did forget to report about the drug usage, feces& urine in the streets, the vulgarity and about the “protester” who was arrested for showing himself to a little girl..( guess this pervert was displaying his freedom of speech, huh ray?)
These zombies have been spurred on by our “misfit in chief” obambo’s ongoing class warfare.
America is watching and it will come back to bite him right where it counts..VOTES!!!….. he’s just too arrogant & too pompous to see..

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Feces and Human waste in the street? That sounds like NYC on a good day! As for “Obombo” (is that some sort of racial slur? Sounds like it somehow…), Yes, here’s hoping that his complicity with Wall Street does come back to bite him on the ass.

But please, don’t credit Obama for “class warfare”. This is not his war, it is ours. It could be yours too, if you were willing to see what OWS has in common with the Tea Party.

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ol' gator October 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

its as different as patriots and parrots.. the only thing in common would be that most of them have hands & feet ….although one party
has a regressed,distorted & failed way of thinking while the other has a sound set of core values representing the vast majority of our nation and what it stands for… people who actually see America in reality, not through the eyes of wimpy, wigged out,polluted, ivy league professor who is unable seek employment in the real world..
…in other words LOSERS!

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Susan October 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Which class of 0WS do you associate with DR? — 1) The Democrat (aka Marxist) ‘activist’ fanning the flames of this failure of a movement; 2) The useful idiot — too much education and not enough common sense; 3) the Anarchist, or 4) the Paulbot. There is only one class I’m sure you don’t belong to — the Paulbots. They are simply misguided libertarians with a serious case of hero-worship who disagree with Tea Party principles. My guess is you are first class.

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ol' gator October 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm

ya never know Susan, the scales over his eyes may be so thick, he loves them all .. which may include dr himself: 5) the career student who lives in an institutional cocoon of “education”(with mommy & daddy’s $$$) and digests the latest radical flavor of the month… a confused ingrate who could never imagine creating thoughts of his own, merely content to “follow a lost crowd of perdition”…

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Susan: I am going to choose “Anarchist”, since it seems to evoke the least emotional response from you. Also, it is fairly accurate (in the classical sense).

As for you, Gator, check your peepers for scales of your own. Bothe the Tea Party and OWS are outgrowths of the current economic situation. Although both also have opportunists hoping to advance agendas which range from murky to bonkers, there is a common recognition of the lack of genuine democratic influence on the process, and a need to put the people back in charge.

Of course, that kind of rhetoric itself is so contaminated as to have almost no meaning. But I’ll say again: the Tea Party (if it even exists at a grass roots level anymore, it looks like as of last November they’ve gone Hollywood) will never accomplish what it ultimately wants if they are not willing to own up to the role that high finance has played in our collective woes.

Do either of you even acknowledge the crimes in high places that led to the housing bubble?

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Susan October 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm

We all know what the anarchists want, and it ends in Mad Max territory. If you claim to be one of them, you are advocating physical violence and the destruction of our form of government. If anarchy is your choice, you are a troubled individual.

The Tea Party grew out of the first so called stimulus (aka union payoffs) and Obamacare. The Tea party is still here. We’re educating ourselves about history, civics, taking an active role in our local, state, and federal elections, and encouraging our friends and neighbors to do the same. That is where change truly starts — an informed public occupying voting booths on every election day.

Read “Reckless Endangerment — How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption led to Economic Armageddon” by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. The book will answer all your questions regarding the who, what, when, where, and how power hungry politicians and their crony business associates destroyed the housing market. There are a lot of people to blame for what happened. I believe we need to stop playing the blame game and start looking for resolutions to the problem. The best antidote to our current situation is to vote this whacked out wannabe dictator and his fellow partners in crime out of office so the country can start to heal.

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Keith Koffler October 24, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Susan, stop playing the blame game? How will Obama get reelected?

That’s a well regarded book BTW. Going to write about it soon.

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Death Ray October 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm

If you are reading so much history why don’t you know anything about the history of Anarchism, which is another species of Libertarianism? It’s goal is the smallest possible state, not chaos.

As far as the villains of the story, if you aren’t supporting taking action against the bankers, financiers, etc, who actually collapsed the economy, then how can you claim to be concerned about the “cronies” who politicians are in bed with? These ARE the cronies!

The blurb on Amazon regarding your book reads like a collection of placards from OWS: Fannie Mae, Goldman Sachs, FDIC, Wall Street. If these are the folks you think are the baddies then buy a bus ticket to NYC, sister!

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ol' gator October 25, 2011 at 9:05 am

Amenth Susan ! thou hath spoken words which hath
much truth.. mr. ray hath not a clue..
..as my Native American ancestors would’ve said :
“this man ray speaks of a way not known to our people.. his first name “death” tells of the bad medicine
he sells… we will have no part of it”

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Rob Crawford October 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

“Class war” is idiocy. It’s envy and greed masked themselves as virtue.

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Rob Crawford October 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

They’re fascists.

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Mrs Compton October 24, 2011 at 11:10 am

I just read the article on the post. Seems they updated it to include what the other papers got. Just an amazing administration we have isn’t it? I’s skeered, really really skeered! Especially after reading some of those comments. Well read, articulate people actually wrote they believe he should do this and that the GOP are evil sob’s. Amazing!

Thanks for pointing this out Keith, wouldn’t have known it otherwise.

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Keith Koffler October 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Pleasure, Mrs. Compton.

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Lizzy October 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

Well what would you expect from a group of petty and petulant children who
are in this ship of fools? They know they don’t deal in facts or the truth so
they resort to childish moves like this as the media seem to be in another
Obama induced coma. It’s getting harder and harder to get the truth or any
real questions asked and answered. Obama is planning to go around the
Constitution and he will get a pass as usual a rogue President is very very
dangerous.

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Star October 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

They are discussing housing at the NYT–but of course it’s devolved into a Republican bash-a-thon, as usual. McConnell wants Obama to fail–yes, but do they ever ask WHY?

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srdem65 October 24, 2011 at 11:56 am

Where to start?
BooHoo for the WaPo. The kids at the BigWhiteFratHouse don’t like them any more, no more kegger invites for them. Maybe the WaPo dirt-diggers can slant another piece about MrsPalin’s alleged stupidity, or MrRubio’s Cuban family history and the FratBoys will like them again.

IMO, the only letters that MrO reads are the ones with big campaign checks enclosed. Next, we’ll be hearing from “J.Doe” who actually received a “personal check” from the Prez who was moved by “Doe”s sad story.
When the TARP bailed out the mortgage holders and the banks, homeowners were chastised for buying homes they couldn’t afford…remember that? Unemployment rose, foreclosures sky-rocketed and bankruptcies were inevitable and unavoidable.
Where was the “bailout” for the homeowner then? After the bailouts for WallStreet, the BigBanks, the MorgtageHolders, the Unions and the BigAuto, there was nothing left for the homeowner/taxpayer and our government didn’t care.

But, now it’s election time and they ALL care. Too little, too late.

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Star October 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Too little and too SMALL.

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Star October 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Plus–circling the drain can make you dizzy and create other health issues, which then costs the system money…
http://www.latimes.com/health/healthkey/newsletter/bs-hs-foreclosure-health-20111017,0,591020.story

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Lizzy October 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm

They just keep the dream in their head that American’s are stupid and
that will be their downfall. Just because they keep pounding on about
how we just don’t understand well fool me once. We won’t be fooled
again! That song will be stuck in my head now:)

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Lizzy October 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Yes where is the big gun? As we pay so much for every single thing
she does we as American’s deserve to have a shedule for her as well
as her loving husband. I don’t trust him and I really don’t trust her!
If we are paying we’ve a right to know what we are paying for and
not have to find out from a British newspaper!

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Robert A. Hall October 25, 2011 at 10:22 am

You there! You still vant to get inside information from ze Vight House, Ja? Then you vill not criticize der Fuhrer! The country’s sliding towards fiscal collapse, followed by political and social collapse, and our leader is playing silly buggers with the press. Wonderful. I will link to this from my Old Jarhead blog.

Robert A. Hall
Author: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
(All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans)
For a free PDF of the book, write tartanmarine(at)gmail.com

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ExExZonie October 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Bail out homeowners… bail out student loans… bail out automotive unions… is there any end to the moral hazards this administration is creating?

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