Saturday, October 04, 2008

Did I miss a giant crack in the Earth's crust?

Or perhaps the giant meteor impact? Or perhaps the LHC creating a black hole that has sucked up the Earth? What follows are all quotes from articles appearing today on a certain newspaper's web site and print editions, emphasis illustrating what is exceptionally unusual in the passages is mine:

From reporting on the financial crisis:

With that self-assurance, the company announced in 2000 that it would buy $2 trillion in loans from low-income, minority and risky borrowers by 2010. All this helped supercharge Fannie’s stock price and rewarded top executives with tens of millions of dollars. Mr. [New Soviet Man economic adviser Franklin] Raines received about $90 million between 1998 and 2004, while Mr. [J. Timothy] Howard was paid about $30.8 million, according to regulators. Mr. [Daniel H.] Mudd collected more than $10 million in his first four years at Fannie.

Whenever competitors asked Congress to rein in the company, lawmakers were besieged with letters and phone calls from angry constituents, some orchestrated by Fannie itself. One automated phone call warned voters: “Your congressman is trying to make mortgages more expensive. Ask him why he opposes the American dream of home ownership.”...

Within a few years of Mr. Mudd’s arrival, Fannie was the most powerful mortgage company on earth.

Then it began to crumble.

Regulators, spurred by the revelation of a wide-ranging accounting fraud at Freddie, began scrutinizing Fannie’s books. In 2004 they accused Fannie of fraudulently concealing expenses to make its profits look bigger.

Mr. Howard and Mr. Raines resigned. Mr. Mudd was quickly promoted to the top spot...

Had Fannie been a private entity, its comeuppance might have happened a year ago. But the White House, Wall Street and Capitol Hill were more concerned about the trillions of dollars in other loans that were poisoning financial institutions and banks.

Lawmakers, particularly Democrats, leaned on Fannie and Freddie to buy and hold those troubled debts, hoping that removing them from the system would help the economy recover. The companies, eager to regain market share and buy what they thought were undervalued loans, rushed to comply.

The White House also pitched in. James B. Lockhart, the chief regulator of Fannie and Freddie, adjusted the companies’ lending standards so they could purchase as much as $40 billion in new subprime loans. Some in Congress praised the move.

“I’m not worried about Fannie and Freddie’s health, I’m worried that they won’t do enough to help out the economy,” the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, said at the time. “That’s why I’ve supported them all these years — so that they can help at a time like this.”...

Mr. Raines and Mr. Howard, who kept most of their millions, are living well. Mr. Raines has improved his golf game. Mr. Howard divides his time between large homes outside Washington and Cancun, Mexico, where his staff is learning how to cook American meals. [Sounds like somebody won't be spending as much time in his home "outside Washington"- one wonders why...]

From reporting on New Soviet Man Barack Obama:

At a tumultuous meeting of anti-Vietnam War militants at the Chicago Coliseum in 1969, Bill Ayers helped found the radical Weathermen, launching a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and United States Capitol.

Twenty-six years later, at a lunchtime meeting about school reform in a Chicago skyscraper, Barack Obama met Mr. Ayers, by then an education professor. Their paths have crossed sporadically since then, at a coffee Mr. Ayers hosted for Mr. Obama’s first run for office, on the schools project and a charitable board, and in casual encounters as Hyde Park neighbors...

Steve Chapman, a columnist for The Chicago Tribune, defended Mr. Obama’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., his longtime pastor, whose black liberation theology and “God damn America” sermon became notorious last spring. But he denounced Mr. Obama for associating with Mr. Ayers, whom he said the University of Illinois should never have hired.

“I don’t think there’s a statute of limitations on terrorist bombings,” Mr. Chapman said in an interview, speaking not of the law but of political and moral implications. “If you’re in public life, you ought to say, ‘I don’t want to be associated with this guy,’ ” Mr. Chapman said. “If John McCain had a long association with a guy who’d bombed abortion clinics, I don’t think people would say, ‘That’s ancient history.’ ”

From reporting on the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh's realignment with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone:

A wide majority of clergy and lay members of the Episcopal Diocese of
Pittsburgh voted Saturday to leave the national church and align with a more
conservative South American branch, adding to the fallout from the 2003
appointment of an openly gay bishop...

The movement is driven by theologically conservative leaders who believe
the church has turned away from traditional biblical teachings on issues like whether Jesus is the son of God and the only way to salvation.

What the heck is going on today at The New York Times???????? It could be sanity - or perhaps honesty - but they'll have to keep it up for me to believe it.

Even this earlier NYT article talking about the Liberal vs. Conservative conflict in TEC that my diocese has now relieved ourselves of is incredibly fair.

I'm amazed that (a) the NYT is reporting facts detrimental to the Left and (b) they're actually treating the Conservative point of view fairly.

A strange, strange day for the paper where "All the News That's Fit to Fabricate".

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