Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Official

Pinch Flat News has officially been removed from my list of blogs I read.

What started as light, agreeable, off-kilter cycling fluff has death-spiraled into a suffocating political diatribe full of ad hominem attacks, sycophantic fawning megaditto comments, and endless tedious stream-of-consciousness writing.

Oh, and did I mention that Pinchie accused me of being "a goddamn racist"? All because I commented on the 1999 NYT article about the Clinton administration and Fannie Mae, noting that the Clinton administration pushed FNMA to begin guaranteeing the riskier sub-prime loans that they had heretofor avoided with good reason, all because Clinton wanted to see more low-income households achieve the American Dream of homeownership.

My father-in-law corrected me though: the Clinton administration wasn't the first to pressure FNMA to take on riskier loans. It was actually the Carter administration that started that push. Clinton managed to succeed to a much greater level.

I'm not exactly sure how it's "racist" to point out poor judgment and failed policies in a series of administrations. Guaranteeing loans to poor risk households is bad business as we've found out recently. It doesn't matter what color the households are, if they're saddled with more debt than they can afford, the house of cards will fall.

There's plenty of blame to go around, as I mentioned in a previous post. Probably least to blame are the homeowners who were sweet-talked into abysmally bad loan structures to take on more debt than they could handle. Probably most to blame are a series of presidential administrations, including the current one, who interfered with the mortgage and banking industry to advance political aims that were ill-conceived with tragic consequences for the very citizens they were trying to better.

Jimmy Carter had a better plan to create affordable housing for lower income families, and fortunately he pursued Habitat for Humanity instead of manipulating taxpayer-funded juggernauts that have contributed to our beached economy. I've probably donated more money to Carter's Habitat for Humanity this year alone than Pinchie has in his entire sorry life, but in his universe faith-based organizations can never measure up to a really good governmental pork project like forcing FNMA to guarantee sub-prime loans.

Or you can read Pinchie's version in which it's all Bush's fault from start to finish. Pinchie seems pretty ignorant of politics and economics, but he's really handy with ad hominem and strawman arguments, if you like that sort of stuff. As for me, to paraphrase Bethoven's dismissal of Napoleon in the inscription on his Eroica Symphony: "to the memory of a great blog".

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