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Not Buying The Cow

I've mentioned before that the brain-dead morons at TruthOut are inept at most everything they do, but the one that gets shoved in my face several times a day is how they run their mailing list. Apparently anyone can sign anyone up to get on it, and they don't bother to verify any of them before you find yourself getting their thrice-daily (if it's a slow daily) turdlets dumped in your inbox.

Well, every now and then I take a peek at the folder that all their shit gets shoveled into as fast as it arrives, and get reminded of how their idiocy often extends beyond responsible e-mail practices and into the real world. And this one's a doozy.

The breathless headline: "Freddie Mac Secretly Paid Republican Firm to Kill Regulation."

That sounded so dumb, I had to read it. (Interesting marketing technique. Perhaps next we'll see commercials that open with a grisly car accident.)

According to TruthOut and the AP (take THAT with about seventeen tons of salt), back in July of 2005 Freddie Mac hired a Republican-tied lobbying firm, DCI, to convince select Republican senators to oppose a reform bill that would have put tighter regulations on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae -- three years before they fell apart.

The big scandal, to them, as I read it, is that it was a REPUBLICAN-tied firm that lobbied REPUBLICANS to kill this measure -- therefore, it's the REPUBLICANS fault that Freddie and Fannie fell apart.

That's one way of looking at it. Here's another, that's actually more in line with their own facts:

The Republicans on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee were considering a bill by Republican Chuck Hagel to put tighter regulations on Freddie and Fannie. Support was split perfectly on party lines -- all the Republicans were in favor of tighter regulation, all the Demcorats were behind leaving Freddie and Fannie de-regulated. And if support stayed that way in the full Senate, then the bill would be dead -- while the Republicans held the majority, they didn't have a "filibuster-proof" 60 votes to get it passed. At least a few Democrats would have to be brought on board.

Conversely, the Democrats didn't want the vote to go on a purely partisan basis. They wanted some political cover, a few Republicans to switch their votes and join with the Democrats to show that it wasn't just a purely party-line vote.

Enter Freddie Mac. They, too, wanted the Republican bill defeated so they could go on running off the cliff, so they figured out that helping the Democrats by bringing on board a couple of Republicans would be the best move.

And who better to help convince Republicans than a Republican-tied lobbying firm? After all, lobbyists don't really have their own agenda; they follow the money, for the most part. So all Freddie Mac had to do was wave enough money and whisper enough of the "right" words, and -- bingo! -- they had their connection all lined up.

So DCI took their money and got to work. They targeted seventeen Republican senators from thirteen different states, and started working on them. Their goal: to convince them to keep the Hagel bill from ever getting to the floor for a vote.

It cost Freddie Mac about $2 million, but in the end, it worked: Hagel's bill to tighten regulation of Freddie and Fannie went exactly nowhere. And all the doom-and-gloom predictions of its backers all came true a scant three years later.

So, what the hell does my title have to do with this essay: it's simple. Freddie Mac paid all that money to convince Republicans, because they didn't have to buy any support from Democrats.

Every single Democrat was on record opposing Hagel's bill.

There's an old saying that I'm sure many of you are familiar with: "why buy the cow, when the milk is free?"

In this case, the Democrats were already on board in keeping Freddie and Fannie free from pesky government oversight. (And it's no wonder -- if you look at the list of the biggest recipients of Freddie and Fannie contributions, it's very, very heavily laden with Democrats. Further, the ties between Freddie and Fannie and Democratic politics are so thick, it's almost incestuous.) It was the Republicans who were pushing hard for tighter regulations on those two organizations, who were warning that they were dire danger of collapse, and who were almost uniformly in favor of tightening controls and increasing oversight.

Which is why they needed to be stopped.

And which is why they were.

And which is why Freddie and Fannie fell apart so spectacularly.

Thank you, TruthOut, for letting this Truth get Out. I understand that it was entirely inadvertent, and I'm sure you deeply regret this momentary lapse into honesty. I'm sure you'll be back to your old ways ("TruthOut -- because we're all out of truth") in no time. I'm sure that super-secret indictment of Karl Rove will be unsealed any day now.

You betcha.


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Comments (20)

Soon to come: Truth-out se... (Below threshold)

Soon to come: Truth-out sends email turdlets describing the horror of the effects of the Employee Free Choice Act and how republicans were responsible for its passage due to efforts by republican union lobbyists.

Hooson keeps trying to drive home how the bill has "bi-partisan support!" when, in fact, sponsorship of the bill includes 227 Democrats and 7 Republicans - 4 or 5 of which represent the four heaviest unionized states in the country. Makes you wonder if he's unconsciously adopted Truth-Out's techniques of 'getting the truth out'.

Stupid error page came up e... (Below threshold)

Stupid error page came up even after three refreshes - sorry for double post.

Not a problem Oyster. It be... (Below threshold)

Not a problem Oyster. It beared repeating. ;)

It is incredible to me that the MSM did not lay this heavily on the dems laps. I mean, I always knew they were in the tank for dems, but I also did think news people would love a good story to get their name out. NO more. ww

Here's the essence of this ... (Below threshold)

Here's the essence of this diatribe:

Democrats already against a bill - bad.

Republicans paid off to be against the bill - oh well. It's those bad dems fault they paid off those principled republicans.

Brilliant expose JT.

Oh, did you just forget to mention that the DCI has a( ahem) direct connection to McCain???????

Geez JT, i haven't commented on most of your most recent ODS and DDS diatribes hoping you'd just burn yourself out but this one takes the cake. Twisted logic doesn't even come close to doing this one justice.

The truth,which of course is meaningless to the far right folks, is that the responsibility belongs to both parties. Gasp, I know that's a thought most of you couldn't possible agree with.

[ Cue wildwillie and some accusation that I am a mean and nasty and evil liberal]

"It's those bad dems fau... (Below threshold)

"It's those bad dems fault they paid off those principled republicans."

Jay said nothing of the sort. Not at any point did he make even the slightest implication of excusing those republicans who turned. In fact, he said the lobbying efforts worked on them. 1) Read 2)Comprehend 3) Refrain from making stuff up.

The truth,which of... (Below threshold)
The truth,which of course is meaningless to the far right folks, is that the responsibility belongs to both parties.

Now if JFO can convince all of us that Obama's "spread the wealth" comment was also bipartisan, we can all sleep better when a massive tax hike is proposed by Democrats.

I would like to know if JFO... (Below threshold)

I would like to know if JFO can explain how his messiah will pay for all the programs he expouses yet capital gains are gone and spending is up.

Oyster, are you surprised JFO cannot comprehend what he is reading? ww

[ Cue wildwillie and som... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

[ Cue wildwillie and some accusation that I am a mean and nasty and evil liberal]

No, JFO. You are just an idiot with reading comprehension issues who is CONVINCED!!!111!!1!! that you are (always) right and JT is (always) wrong.

I actually feel kind of sorry for you. No, that's not quite right. I WOULD feel sorry for you if it weren't for the fact that the imbecilic, stubborn, wrongheaded opinions that you are so absolutely sure of are exactly the opposite of what is good for America. At least you are consistent.

I second that Sheik. JFO is... (Below threshold)

I second that Sheik. JFO is consistant. Ever the boar. Predictable rantings and an obsessive hate for JT. ww

Jay's moral: Democrats were... (Below threshold)

Jay's moral: Democrats were wrong, Republicans were corrupt.

Gee, that makes it so much more clear who to vote for.

"Jay's moral: Democrats ... (Below threshold)

"Jay's moral: Democrats were wrong, Republicans were corrupt."

All the Democrats were wrong (some were corrupt) and some Republicans were corrupt enough to be bought. There. Fixed it. Hardly an earth-shaking revelation.

Not quite, Brian. It's a bi... (Below threshold)

Not quite, Brian. It's a bit more nuanced than that.

All Democrats were wrong, corrupt, or both.

Some Republicans were corruptible.

Note that the article specifically says they didn't try to buy McCain, as he was already on board the attempt to regulate Freddie and Fannie.


Oh, yah, much better.... (Below threshold)

Oh, yah, much better.

Note that the article specifically says they didn't try to buy McCain

Just his campaign manager. Judgment? Association?

I'm not sure why we even tr... (Below threshold)

I'm not sure why we even try. Clealy, logic and reason bear no weight with the liberal mindset.

Clealy, logic and reason... (Below threshold)

Clealy, logic and reason bear no weight with the liberal mindset.

Really? Let's look at the "logic and reason".

All Democrats

Not all, just some, particularly the ones in the committee.

were wrong,

Assuming they were, I'll let you claim that one.


But you said they didn't bribe Democrats. So none were corrupt here.

or both.

See above. A&!B => !(A&B)

Some Republicans

Oh, now it's "some".

were corruptible.

Not "corruptible". "Corrupt".

So the argument boils down to, "some Democrats were wrong, and some Republicans were corrupt". QED.

"Brian" is brainless.... (Below threshold)

"Brian" is brainless.

Brian:a) there are o... (Below threshold)

a) there are other forms of corruption than being lobbied
b) yes, 'some' republicans - because at the very least Sen. Hagel and the 25 others who signed his letter still wanted the bill. Therefore, not 'all'.
c) corruptible refers to the specific instance of this set up; corrupt would be more general. It would be up to the author which would be most appropriate, given his intended meaning. You don't get to change it to how you'd like to see it.

If this is the level of English comprehension and logic in vogue on the left color me thoroughly unimpressed.

b) yes, 'some' republica... (Below threshold)

b) yes, 'some' republicans

As I said.

corruptible refers to the specific instance of this set up; corrupt would be more general.

Where are you getting your definitions? "Corruptible" means "capable of being corrupted", i.e., they haven't done it yet, but they're capable of it. The specific instance is they DID IT. That is "corrupt".

It would be up to the author which would be most appropriate, given his intended meaning. You don't get to change it to how you'd like to see it.

OK, then seeing as how Jay changed my "corrupt" to "corruptible", I assume you agree that Jay doesn't get to change it to how he'd like to see it.

Brian, you fracking moron, ... (Below threshold)

Brian, you fracking moron, the Democrats didn't need to be corrupted because most of them were already there. Let's recap:

Dodd, Christopher $165,400
Johnson, Tim $61,000
Reed, Jack $78,250
Bayh, Evan $41,100
Carper, Tom $55,889
Stabenow, Debbie $33,450
Menendez, Robert $31,250

Fact of the matter is almost all of that committee (R & D) were receiving kickbacks from the FM's, but the Democrats were cheap dates needing little assistance in voting AGAINST regulation as apparently they were already on board with shooting down any attempt to tone down the money machines that the FM's were. You don't waste money lobbying someone who is already in your pocket, in case the logic escapes your pickle brain.

The fact that FM's could donate at ALL to political parties (don't start with the 'but they are private entities' bullshit, as it is just that, bullshit) is absurd in the first place. But God forbid the democrats be for anything that would limit the apparent conflict of interest the situation created. None of them at all.

McCain was working (to my freaking surprise) to REGULATE these GSE's. None of the Democrats were, and especially not Mr Obama, who received the greatest amount of cash in the shortest amount of time of anyone in the Senate. The argument that the Republicans, and especially McCain, wholly responsible for this situation is an outright lie. While SOME republicans are complicit, practically all the democrats are, especially those in the SBHUD committee.

You wanna know who caused this situation? Let's follow the money -- right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae as well his other buddies, republican and democrat, in the senate and house who were getting kickbacks. McCain was not one of them.

Corruption doesn't always =... (Below threshold)

Corruption doesn't always = money changing hands in the form of direct contributions. All to often it manifests itself in the exchange of intangible as well as other tangible goods or services. As an example a 'community organizer' may say: "Get me some earmarks and I'll deliver the votes on your next run for office," or an official may say, "Get me the votes I need to get elected and I'll vote against any bill you want."

Is that too hard a concept to grasp? Or does it ruin one's argument so it's ignored.






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