Bill Roper's Journal
30th-Sep-2008 03:55 pm
Ok, I understand that there are some of you who aren't going to like the origins of this article, because it comes from the National Review Online. But perhaps the last paragraph, quoted below, will entice you to read it:

"While the aforementioned 2004 hearing revealed Democrats as the more vocal Fannie and Freddie defenders, the corruption runs deep and is likely bipartisan in nature. Ultimately, partisan concerns should be shunted aside and the chips should fall where they may. If Congress is eventually going to demand that taxpayers cough up nearly a trillion dollars to prop up irresponsible actors in the financial sector, it’s only fair we know who in Congress was getting paid to look the other way."

He suggests that all of the documents that the government is getting from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be placed on line so that we can see who was responsible for their failure.

I'm for transparency. How about you?
30th-Sep-2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
Works for me.
30th-Sep-2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
I'm all for transparency. If the truth doesn't serve us, what does that say about us?

While we're at it, I'd like some transparency from some other areas of government too.
30th-Sep-2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Ah'm fer it.

In fact, I'm in favor of all financial transactions, everywhere, being public. But few folks would agree with me. :-)
30th-Sep-2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Well, yeah. I don't see the need of having my charitable contributions published for all to see, just as an example.
30th-Sep-2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
One of the items on my "if I ruled the world" list is that corporations be required to make all transactions transparent. Not that that's gonna fly either.

Not that I actually have an "if I ruled the world" list, for that matter. But you know what I mean.
30th-Sep-2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
From the article you linked:

During the savings-and-loan crisis, senators who merely sat in a room with banker Charles Keating while he tried to discourage them from launching an investigation were vilified at the “Keating Five.” How is this any better?

Is this accurate? Did the Keating Five actually do *nothing* to prevent the investigation? I had never heard this opinion advanced before. From Wikipedia:

After a lengthy investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee determined in 1991 that Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, and Donald Riegle had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB in its investigation of Lincoln Savings. Senators John Glenn and John McCain were cleared of having acted improperly but were criticized for having exercised "poor judgment".

I am confused.
30th-Sep-2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Well, I wasn't entirely sure of my memory, so I cheated and went to a non-Wikipedia source, having been trained not to cite them. :)

Here's a long article from the Arizona Republic on the subject. McCain wasn't 100% clean, hence the "poor judgment" finding, but it seems that the worst thing that he did was attend a meeting with regulators along with the rest of the Keating Five (where he said he didn't want the regulators doing them special favors, apparently without a nod and a wink) and that he was late in reimbursing Keating for some vacation expenses that he should have reimbursed much earlier.

Honestly, I think that McCain's "maverick" reputation comes from his wanting to atone for having gotten as close to the edge as he did here.
1st-Oct-2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
Perhaps I wasn't clear. The original article didn't say that *McCain* didn't do anything very wrong--it said that *none* of the Keating Five had done anything wrong.

Is that in fact true? Because it doesn't square with what I thought was common knowledge.

For the record, I accept that while McCain probably wasn't 100% clean, he probably didn't do anything *that* bad, in case that was confusing the issue.
1st-Oct-2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
I see how you can read the original text that way, but it appears to me that it can also be reasonably read as senators who did no more than that, which seems to apply to Glenn and McCain, but not to the other three senators in the meeting.

Admittedly ambiguous.
1st-Oct-2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
Oops. This was me; I'm not sure how I managed to not log in. Sorry.
30th-Sep-2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Like you and Barack Obama, I'm for transparency.
30th-Sep-2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
Also all for transparency. It's nice to see ALL the little niggly bits. That said you are aware that the National Review is well noted in journalistic circles as being Conservative? as in this quote from today's US News & World Report (about Sarah Palin) http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/mashek/2008/09/30/sarah-palin-appears-to-scare-the-gop.html
"Even the conservative National Review magazine wonders why..." (my emphasis)

Just being transparent with your sources Bill.

Oh, and you read filkertom's blog this afternoon? I'm in one of those States with bogus ads saying that the Democrats are out to ruin the economy.
1st-Oct-2008 01:36 am (UTC)
I'm quite aware that the National Review is conservative. That was the reason for my disclaimer about some folks not liking the source, which you may have noted in my original post.
1st-Oct-2008 01:41 am (UTC)
Actually, I did miss that as indicating your awareness as to its leanings. Are you aware that I also read the National Review as well as Daily Kos?
1st-Oct-2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Nope. My spyware is failing. :)
2nd-Oct-2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
In your circle of friends, actually, I would assume that most of them read more than one source of information, and would not be surprised to learn they read a spectrum of viewpoints, as well.

I admired the National Review much more when it was Buckley's baby, and I think it has deteriorated, particularly lately, on line. Still, I follow it.

I don't often agree with it. Or at least, frequently I seem to agree with the starting premises, but then they go off from there in directions that I do not care for. But I do follow it.

Don't read Kos, but I do try to find time for Slate when I can.

NYTimes and London Times are my two primary sources of news. I try to take in other countries periodically. NPR and BBC are my radio sources.

Not even for fairness sake can I stomach either Fox or Limbaugh. But then, I don't stomach Olbermann, either.

Newsweek, Time and US News & World Report are my staple magazines. Once I'm done moving, I'll take some time to add the Economist.

Your friends are thinking people. I'm sure you've noticed that. :-)

Oh, and transparency -- all for it. In fact, if more US citizens took the time to be informed, we'd have a lot more of it without any additional regulation.

Transparency is not something the Republican party has been crying for in the last 8 years, or so. Not sure the Democrats would be as happy as they think they would be about it, either.

[edited to replace % with &]

Edited at 2008-10-02 02:50 pm (UTC)
1st-Oct-2008 12:08 am (UTC)
Those aren't the only documents I want to see. I'd like to see a forensic audit on the last eight years. That might be a good place to start, though.
1st-Oct-2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
The article you originally linked to suggests appointing a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of the FM mess (I only just now had time to read all the way to the end, sorry).

I think this is a fine idea.

We should also appoint an independent prosecutor to get to the bottom of the Department of Justice mess. One with full subpoena powers and the power to jail any witnesses who refused to show up for questioning for contempt of court.

Or we could just put all *those* documents on the web for anyone to Google. But seriously, if the current administration had access to the server, just how long would that last? Which is also the problem with the FM mess, actually. No, the independent prosecutor would be the way to go.

We all want transparency, and it's about time we got it. Some things are just too important to leave in the dark.
2nd-Oct-2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
We should also appoint an independent prosecutor to get to the bottom of the Department of Justice mess.


Didn't know you had such influence, did you?
3rd-Oct-2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
As I understand it, she is just a *special* prosecutor, not an *independent* prosecutor.

In other words, if I'm understanding right, she still reports to Michael Mucazey (sorry if I've misspelled that), who was appointed by George Bush and who has done nothing to correct either the injustices perpetrated on Federal Prosecutors who refused to be used as political tools, or the presence of incompetent ideologues hired under his predecessor.

I see a problem there. I'm inclined to believe she's probably generally honest and good at her job, but when she's working under someone who has shown very little interest in really correcting the results of the abuses, I'm not sure she will be free to do her job properly.

I want an *independent* prosecutor. The kind the administration can't turn off when she discovers something inconvenient.
1st-Oct-2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
And indictments, flogging, and keelhauling too. I am really, really, REALLY tired of the responsible parties walking away counting their money. Hang'm high and hang'm thick. I don't care what party they come from.
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