Sunday, October 19, 2008

Frist: Dirty? or Just Stupid? AP: Misleading, of Course

AP kinda highlights this little story.

Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

In the cross hairs of the campaign carried out by DCI...[were Republican Senators.]

Here's the line the AP would like you NOT to read:

Freddie Mac's payments to DCI began shortly after the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee sent Hagel's bill to the then GOP-run Senate on July 28, 2005. All GOP members of the committee supported it; all Democrats opposed it.


In the midst of DCI's yearlong effort, Hagel and 25 other Republican senators pleaded unsuccessfully with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to allow a vote.

"If effective regulatory reform legislation ... is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole," the senators wrote in a letter that proved prescient

So was Frist a scumbag, or just one of the stupidest Senators in DC? (Yes, I know, the guy had an MD degree...)

MORE that the AP doesn't really want you to read:

In the end, there was not enough Republican support for Hagel's bill to warrant bringing it up for a vote because Democrats also opposed it and the votes of some would be needed for passage. The measure died at the end of the 109th Congress

Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin oversaw DCI's drive, according to the three people.

"Hollis's goal was not to have any Freddie Mac fingerprints on this project and DCI became the hidden hand behind the effort," one of the three people told the AP.

The guilty:

Nine of the 17 targeted Republican senators did not sign Hagel's letter: Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Christopher "Kit" Bond and Jim Talent of Missouri, Conrad Burns of Montana, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and George Allen of Virginia

The courageous and ethical:

Eight of the targeted senators did sign it: Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Larry Craig of Idaho, John Ensign of Nevada, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, George Voinovich of Ohio and David Vitter of Louisiana

No wonder the Pubbies shafted Santorum!

Among other things, one wonders who the f&^% authorized Fan/Fred to spend lobbying money, and whether the taxpayers should....ahhhh.....forcibly remove $2 million from DCI officers, not to mention the 12 or so Freddie insiders who spent the money.

I rather like the option of forcible removal, myself.

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