Freddie Mac

Barney! Say It Isn’t So.

Barney Frank lauded, flacked and defended the two institutions many people feel were major factors in the collapse of the mortgage market and, through them, the housing and construction industries.

Barney Frank

Fannie and Freddie, the two government entities which had been producing most of the high-risk paper, bundling it and selling it to other mortgage banks. Eventually, the market turned toxic with bad mortgages and the actual and threatened failures of many of the banking institutions that had gambled on these billions of dollars of worthless bundled mortgages.

Even in the face of the obvious disaster that befell us in 2008, just in time to panic an already nervous public into thinking the sky was falling, Barney Frank was steadfast in his defense of the two low-income mortgage giants.

I was listening to Larry Kudlow’s radio audience filet him for appearing to praise Barney Frank for his abrupt turn around about Fannie and Freddie saying, “they should be abolished”. Larry seems to think that Barney had an epiphany regarding Fannie and Freddie and the entire low-income loan business, among other revelations. He thinks Frank is a serious politician and, as he puts it, “a thinker”. Ok, Larry, if you say so, but I’m equally certain that whatever comes of all that furious thinking does not, in general, bode well for the American people.

I’m wondering if Mr Frank may be looking for political cover in the impending storm coming up in November. In fairness to Larry Kudlow, he disagrees with just about everything Frank says. I’ve made no secret of my dislike for Barney Frank and what he helped perpetrate. For him to ride out the back end of this, as the redeemed advocate for free market solutions, would be disingenuous at best. He hasn’t changed his spots Larry… just his tune.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

Hey Big Spender! Obama Must Have $50 Billion, It’s An Emergency!

It’s a saga that would have challenged the imagination of an ancient Nordic bard… the dragon, the perfidious gods, the legendary heroes, the evil villains… sorry folks, there’s no maxi-sized soprano hoisting a spear and shield in this one.

Barack Hussein Obama is presiding over the worst economy and economic outlook since the great depression. There are some that would argue that we’re already there. After helping to engineer the collapse of the mortgage banking industry, the same people who were screaming ‘hang the bankers’ are the same ones who repeatedly blocked investigation and regulation of the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Our president was on that list, along with a who’s who of Congressional DeMarxists.

So they create the disaster, howling through the megaphone of the statist lame stream media at the same time, saying we have to have this money today. Right now. The sky is falling! Then they say that only we can save you, and that the only way to end the daily worsening recession is to pump an immense infusion of currency into the economy. We were assured on a daily basis of immediate and long range job growth— any day now— hold on… any second now.

800 billion dollars and eighteen months later and we are in far worse shape than we should be… this is intentional. The 800 billion didn’t go out to the marketplace, where it would have generated investment in business and thereby jobs in the private sector. The money went instead to states and municipalities. The money didn’t go to help Americans… it went to public employee unions. It went to states. Not to help solve their fiscal funding or to reign in the unions, whose underfunded/unfunded retirement obligations have threatened to bankrupt states and cities alike, but to pump money into the same losing programs and administrations time after time.

The government grew by four hundred thousand jobs, as opposed to forty one thousand jobs created in the private sector during the same period. What’s with that picture? Barack is having one heck of a time convincing America that we have to have another 50 billion to ‘keep police, firefighters and teachers working’. This is code for: The stimulus money is all gone. What do we do now, chief?

This is desperation spending. Obama knows that he’d better get it now if he can. Come November, things could change dramatically.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

Witnessing The Wilderness That Is The Obama Presidency.

It’s a grim, foreboding landscape littered with the wreckage of failed government programs, destroyed manufacturing, lost jobs, foreclosed homes, banking and institutional failures… the list goes onward. To refer to Obama’s performance as uninspiring would be kind.

It’s very apparent that the job is just too big for the man. Obama, his advisers and government just don’t have a clue and it looks very much like they aren’t going to change anytime soon.

Since we’re on the subject of the ills of Obama overrunning the land, I guess we’d best dispel the “we’ve turned the corner” and the “it’s almost over” crowd first. It’s like this… ‘it’ (the recession) has gone exactly nowhere and in point of fact has been waiting in the hallway doing push-ups, while Obama has been bleating the ‘progress’ and ‘accomplishments’ he has to show for his time in office. The recession isn’t over, not even close, and it stands an odds-on chance of getting worse before it does get better.

Obama’s braggadocio is falling on deaf ears… we’ve heard it all before, sixteen months worth. Obama rushes from city to city, hyping his poisonous policies and in each stop he has to have his ‘canned’ audience of union goons. The more people hear him speak, the less they like it. Right now, like it or not, there’s no one to blame but Obama, just like there’s no one to blame for the DeMarxists, many still serving in Congress today, who were by action, or as likely inaction, responsible for preventing George Bush and the Republicans from placing controls on Freddie and Fannie that precipitated the entire sub-prime racket to start with.

By the way folks, how’s that bailout investment Obama is always tooting his horn about? You know, your money? Well, Freddie and Fannie, with DeMarxists running interference for them just like in the ‘good old days’, have posted a combined loss of twenty three point seven billion dollars for the year after losses in excess of seventy two billion dollars last year.

This too is the wreckage that comes with the DeMarxists stumbling through our economy. Obama is well on his way to being nothing more than an unpleasant footnote in history. From my lips to God’s ears.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

Obama: I, I, Me, Me, I’ll, I’ll….

Ohio brought out the best Barack Obama has to offer – and it isn’t much. He did a lot of speech-making about how he was doing this for us and how he was going to do that for us. The only problem, as far as the people of Ohio and the rest of the nation are concerned, is that it’s not about what he’s going to do for us, it’s about what he’s DOING TO US.

Obama had just come from telling America’s banking industry that the heavy regulatory hand of government will come crashing down on ‘the evil bankers’ who have been basking in the light of special regulatory exemptions. Saying nary a word about the Democrats, who for thirty years systematically created the environment that made Fannie and Freddie BILLIONS in very questionable sub-prime mortgages mandated by the government. Add the suicidally risky practice of the hedge and private equity funds in gambling with tons of this sub-prime paper, and bundling and reselling the same bunk paper. Democrats, meanwhile, taking huge bribes from these banking giants in the form of campaign contributions for running interference against those who sought to control and regulate what some forecast as pending disaster.

Obama In Ohio

Barack Obama, a reasonable person could argue, has not only done nothing to help America to recover from this Democrat created disaster, but everything possible to make it worse. We can blame part of the problem on the Bush administration for allowing it to occur, not acting forcefully enough to control his own big government and not having guts enough to stand up to the Democrats. Bush did a lot of things wrong. He left us with a total deficit of 2.5 TRILLION dollars through 2008. Still, one must consider this includes the spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Barack Obama and George Bush can share the blame for an additional 2.6 TRILLION dollar increase for 2009.

Barack Obama, in what can only be considered to be a purposeful effort to bring this country down given the evidence at hand, is presiding over a drunken orgy of graft and pork-laden government bloat to the tune of an estimated FOUR POINT NINE TRILLION DOLLARS by 2016. This is a figure beyond the average person’s comprehension. Unfortunately for Mr. Obama the average people in the nation didn’t have to count the zeros to understand that we didn’t like what he was trying to do to us. Therein, as they say, lies the rub. President Obama keeps saying what he’s going to do for ‘us’. We keep seeing what he’s doing TO us.

Massachusetts should have been a flare lit tip off, but Barack and that sorry clown Congress just don’t get it. They are right back out there telling us what it is THAT WE WANT, while they are repackaging the same stinking pile that cost them New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts, in what has to be one of the most stunning upsets in politics for decades. Barack just can’t spin it to where it sounds anything but empty and threatening to Americans and judging by his poll numbers, Americans aren’t buying.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010


Obama: Unlimited Funds For Freddie-Fannie.

While the rest of the nation stagnates and one out of five Americans is out of a job, President Obama, in the still of the night, approved UNLIMITED FUNDING for mortgage giants Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac. The two entities that are probably singularly most responsible for the crash of the sub-prime housing loan market.

Although they were successful in lining the pockets of many Democratic operatives along the way, in 2008 Fanny and Freddie exploded, taking Bear Stearns with them and leading to the failure of many other smaller entities, as we have seen. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Christopher Dodd were all beholden to Fanny and Freddie for substantial contributions. The US government has bailed Fanny and Freddie out to the tune of ONE POINT FIVE TRILLION DOLLARS in direct and indirect aid. Those are TAXPAYER dollars, it should be noted.

What was going on was these two quasi-government backed Corporations, being major purchasers of SUB-PRIME mortgage paper, were BUNDLING these dubious assets and selling them as bonds. This precarious process worked as long as housing prices continued to rise. As early as 2003, regulators were warning of looming catastrophe “in the unlikely event that the two giants failed”.

Republican efforts to regulate Fanny and Freddie were defeated BY DEMOCRATS, IN PARTY-LINE VOTES. Since their failure in 2008, the two mortgage giants have consumed 1.1 trillion dollars in Fed backing and thus far this year have lost 124.4 billion dollars which has had to be picked up by the Federal Reserve. Now the treasury has removed the 400 BILLION dollar cap on funding losses AT THE DIRECTION OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, replacing it with an UNLIMITED FUNDING CAP! That’s like handing a chronic alcoholic a half gallon of booze and telling him to knock himself out.

THIS is Obama’s much vaunted fiscal responsibility? Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac are headed down the same road as before and we have the SAME Democrats running interference for them. Wonder who they’ll blame it on this time?

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2009


Look what Santa Obama left for failed fatcats

Hey what was that about checking "who's naughty and who's nice"

Seems twas the night before Christmas, and all through DC,

Santa Obama decided to leave a blank check for failed mortgage firms

Paid for by you and me  

Yep. See the Washington Post for the gory details

The Obama administration pledged Thursday to provide unlimited financial assistance to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an eleventh-hour move that allows the government to exceed the current $400 billion cap on emergency aid without seeking permission from a bailout-weary Congress.

The Christmas Eve announcement by the Treasury Department means that it can continue to run the companies, which were seized last year, as arms of the government for the rest of President Obama's current term.

But even as the administration was making this open-ended financial commitment, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disclosed that they had received approval from their federal regulator to pay $42 million in Wall Street-style compensation packages to 12 top executives for 2009.

The compensation packages, including up to $6 million each to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's chief executives, come amid an ongoing public debate about lavish payments to executives at banks and other financial firms that have received taxpayer aid. But while many firms on Wall Street have repaid the assistance, there is no prospect that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will do so.

Where to start?

  • the questionable constituitionality of making a monetary committment in the absence of congressional authorization. Jeez, where I went to law school my con law class taught me the executive could only spend money appropriated by Congress. Has the Constitution been amended since then to enable the Treasury to appropriate their own funds?
  • The fact that over a year after the collapse of the two GSE's neither Treasury Secretary Geithner nor Senate Banking Committee chairman Dodd have any inkling as to an exit strategy for these failed firms
  • That after making a huge brouhaha over the AIG bonuses that the Feds plan to approve equally large bonuses to executives of firms which are also failing to earn any money
  •  The fact that $400 Billion of taxpayers subsidies are not enough, and that these firms appear to be well on the way to becoming perpetual money pits for the taxpayers?

Help me out here. We are supposed to believe that universal health care is going to be deficit neutral when that opinion is coming from the same people who told us everything was hunky dory with Fannie Mae 


But while Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, insisted that the firms known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “in sound situation” and “good shape,” he also ripped the administration and the Federal Reserve Bank........ 

Dodd also warned the television talk show’s host that to suggest Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “in major trouble is not accurate.”

 Only off by what, $400 Billion...and counting...Chris.....Heckuva job you're doing fixing those banks. Going to see a reform package in this Congress,,,,,hey, it's only 15 months after the meltdown, why rush?.....maybe it will be chock full of goodies for ACORN like what Fan/Fred execs got this Christmas.

A modest proposal for our "leaders" in DC. How about fixing the financial mess before you decide to play doctor for the whole country.


An Open Letter to Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd, and Charles Schumer

Dear Senators Dodd and Schumer and Congressman Frank,

First things first, let me congratulate you for reaching a level of hypocritical grandstanding I thought impossible even for the United States' Congress.

Congressman Frank, you blocked oversight at Fannie and Freddie while you were dating a high ranking Fannie official.

Senator Dodd, you took a bribe from Angelo Mozillo to filibuster George W. Bush's attempts to reign in criminal excesses at Fannie and Freddie.

Senator Schumer, the 100% tax rate you propose on Wall Street bonuses violates the ex post facto clause in the United States Constitution.  Not that you care when you're up for re-election this cycle....

Furthermore, all three of you were crucial players in the decision to bailout Wall Street.  While you may personally disagree with some of the decisions those firms have made, the fact remains you had an oppotunity to let said firms fail six months ago.  Instead of letting Wall Street fail; you failed.

Once you decided to bail these firms out, you implicitly accepted responsibility for any unpopular business decisions said firms made.

Against that backdrop, I find your grandstanding over the compensation paid by the American International Group (AIG) utterly nauseating.  Said compensation, while perhaps unwise from a narrowly defined business perspective, is standard practice in the financial services industry.  Gentlemen, if you didn't want AIG engaging in standard business practices; THEN YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE BAILED THEM OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

Don't get me wrong: AIG screwed up and THEY SHOULD FAIL as a result (the fact that their screw up is a direct result of Elliot Spitzer's bullying is a topic for another day).  That said, Gentlemen, you are standing in the way of AIG's creative destruction.  Until you are willing to let AIG fail, your whines about executive compensation ring hollow.


Adam Cahn

Austin, TX

Today's reminder why Chris Dodd is in the process of losing....

This evening's news

Freddie Mac seeks $30.8B in US aid after 4Q loss

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Freddie Mac, facing mounting damage from the U.S. housing crisis, said Wednesday it will ask the government for nearly $31 billion in additional aid after posting a gargantuan loss of more than $50 billion last year.....

The Treasury Department has pledged up to $400 billion in aid for the duo. But as losses mount, many analysts see the companies remaining under government control, perhaps indefinitely. Until officials know the final bill for the housing crisis, it will be tough to figure out whether they can be spun off as private companies, said debt analyst Jim Vogel of FTN Financial in Memphis, Tenn.

Now, this wasn't supposed to happen!

To suggest somehow that [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] are in trouble is simply not accurate,” Dodd replied.

The facts are that Fannie and Freddie are in sound situations,” Dodd said. “They have more that adequate capital, in fact more than the law requires

Why IS this man Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee?


10 Winnable Senate Races

10 in 2010
Republican Senate Pickup opportunities -- 2010.
by Adam Cahn

    Conservatives disheartened by Nov. 4th's "thumping" can take heart; we're only 691 short days away from election day 2010.  Much like Democrats following their 2004 debacle, Republicans now face their best political opportunity in at least five years.  Democrats, who no longer have George W. Bush to kick around, must now govern.  Most of the lingering congressional corruption scandals now feature Democrats (Don Young's fate in Alaska notwithstanding).  Republicans, free from the responsibility of governance, have the luxury of principled obstruction for the first time in sixteen years.  With a focus on conservative reform, impeccable ethics, the right leadership, and a couple lucky breaks Democrats will face political peril in just 691 short days.

While the country is split roughly evenly on the issue of protecting the unborn, Barack Obama will be the most pro-Abortion President to enter office in American history.  In addition, pro-Abortion Democrats in Congress will know their time as a 16 to 20 seat majority in the Senate will be inherently limited.  Given the reality of a near supermajority in congress along with holding the white house, pro-abortion Democrats must strike during this Congress.  The only question is what mechanism Democrats will use.  They have many options; either a frontal legislative attack (which I doubt) or more subtle parlementary manuvers.  Potential Democrat targets include: the 2003 ban on partial birth abortion, laws making it illegal to transport minors across state lines for abortions, or a dramatic expansion of taxpayer funded abortion.  However the public feels about abortion more broadly, the moderate restrictions listed above all enjoy 85% support in the country.

The second major issue that will harm Democrats is land use and economic development on Federally Owned lands in the Western States.  When Democrats put the Green Mafia in charge of the Interior Department and the EPA, they will inevitably put environmental restrictions on economic and recreational activity.  If the history of the Clinton and Carter administrations are a guide, these issues will cost Democrats Senate seats.  In 1992, Democrats had 8 seats in the Interior West; in 2000, they had 3.

The third major issue Republicans will have is ethics and corruption.  With Ted Stevens' defeat, there aren't many corrupt Republicans left.  Democrats, on the other hand, have many members under ethical clouds, including prominent committee chairmen like Charlie Rangel, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank.  Democrats could see a steady stream of members with ethical issues in the next few years.

The following ten senate races are winnable with the right candidate:

1) Evan Bayh (IN) - While popular among Republicans and a good fit for Dan Quayle's old seat, the former DLC chair is loathed among the Democrat party's activist base.  Controversial votes like (FISA, Partial Birth Abortion, & Z) leave Bayh's left flank vulnerable and other votes (Affirmative Action, ANWR, &  Nuisance Lawsuits against Gun Manufacturers) will allow Republicans to tie Bayh to Obama, Pelosi, and Reid and to brand him as out of touch with Indiana's values.  As a member of the Armed Services committee, he is also vulnerable if Democrats attempt serious cuts in Defense Spending.

Potential Candidate: Mike Pence.  Conservatives have known and loved the 2005 Human Events Man of the year for a long time.  Pence, a National Security Hawk, fierce critic of Bloated Budgets, and devout Christian unites the conservative coalition in a way few politicians who happen to be Republicans can.  Additionally, Pence's leadership in the successful "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" insurgency of 2008 can only help when Gas Prices inevitably rise.

2) Barbara Boxer (CA) - This race, while a longshot, is winnable.  California, remember, was Ronald Reagan's home state.  As the 2003 re-call election proved, a Confident Republican can go on offense with a message of unapologetic Conservatism and win (Schwarzenegger's subsequent governance is a separate topic).  Ms. Boxer, while wildly popular in Berkeley and Bel Air, has always had trouble in Bakersfield and Barstow.  Additionally, Boxer's longstanding support for economically catastrophic cap and trade legislation  make her especially vulnerable if the Obama administration makes Global Warming legislation a top priority.  Finally, voter rejection of Prop 8 proves California near as liberal as it is commonly charicatured.

Potential Candidate: Hugh Hewitt.  The telegenic radio host's impeccable conservative credentials will inspire the Republican base to turn out like Crazy while his outstanding communication skills can move the state's recalcitrant independent voters rightward.  Additionally, his nationally syndacated radio audience gives him a built in fundraising network for a seat that will probably require $125 million to capture.  Finally, Hewitt might be the only potential candidate who can successfully thread the immigration needle in the GOP primary.

3) Chris Dodd (CT) - Under normal circumstances, Dodd would be one of the safest  Democrats in the country.  Fortunately for Republicans, and to the detriment of the incumbent, Connecticut's senior Senator faces far from normal circumstances.  Senator Dodd is the U.S. Senator most responsible for the current financial crisis.  In 2003 DOdd recieved a loan from subprime mortgage giant Countrywide Financial's elite "Friends of [Countrywide CEO] Angelo [Mozillo]" program.  Sen Dodd received a combined $781,042 in two mortgages at below market interest rates.  Coincidentally, Dodd blocked Republican efforts to crack down on corruption at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose mortgage securitization process disproportionately benefitted Countrywide.  If current economic difficulties continue or worsen (the latter of which will probably occur), Dodd's personal role in creating the financial crisis will leave him vulnerable in what is otherwise a deep blue state.

Potential Candidate: Larry Kudlow.  If, in economically challenging times, you still believe that free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity, then the popular CNBC host is the strongest potential candidate to take on Dodd.  The former Reagan economic advisor and supply side guru has owned a weekend property in the state for many years, which he could  make his primary residence in about five minutes of paperwork.  Kudlow has been erudite and relentless in explaining how the current financial crisis resulted from Government social engineering, not free-market capitalism.  While Kudlow has previously made terrible lifestyle choices, his subsequent 14 year recovery is a quintessentially American tale of redemption.  Finally, Kudlow's long history on Wall Street would allow him to raise ample funds in what would be an extraordinarily expensive race.

4) Byron Dorgan (ND) - Senator Dorgan faces a many potential pitfalls.  To begin, the incoming majority will be far more liberal on social issues than Senator Dorgan's state.  This leaves Dorgan vulnerable on any far left abortion agenda advocated by democrats.  With the recent discovery of a major oil shale deposit in the state, environmentalist control of the federal government might not resonate either.  With his party in unified Control of government, Senator Dorgan will be unable to distance himself from his party's liberal leadership. 

Potential Candidate: Gov. John Hoeven.  While unknown nationally, the popular governor was overwhelmingly re-elected this year with 74"% of the vote.  The successful governor is a solid, across-the-board conservative with impeccable pro-life credentials.  Given the state's conservatism, the majority party's lurch to the left and the incumbants ties to the Green mafia and the subprime mess, Gov. Hoeven is positioned to win this seat should he choose to run.

5) Russ Feingold (WI) - Despite his unassuming demeanor, the Gentleman from Wisconsin has established a voting record better suited for the Berkeley City Council than a midwestern senator.  In 2001, Feingold irresponsibly voted against the PATRIOT ACT, an essential counterterrorism tool that has prevented a repeat of 9/11.  In 2002, Feingold, along with Senator John McCain (R-AZ), led the greatest assault on the first amendment since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 under the guise of "bi-partisan campaign finance reform."  During his 2004 re-election, Senator Feingold used the afore mentioned act to muzzle the political speech of Wisconsin right to life; Feingold's target in this case leaves him vulnerable to any far left abortion  agenda pursued by the majority party.  While Senator Feingold's Phish concert liberalism goes over well in the MSNBC newsroom, it leaves Feingold dramatically out of step with midwestern values.

Potential Candidate: Rep. Paul Ryan.  Much like Congressman Pence, Congressman Ryan stayed true to conservatism even when the Hastert-led Republican Congress abandoned it.  Articulate and telegenic, Congressman Ryan was just re-elected in a district that went for Obama with a message of unapologetic conservative reform.  Ryan has advanced conservative solutions to middle class economic anxieties on issues such as education, medical care, and retirement security.  Running against an incumbent whose views are to the left of most Madison drum circles, Congressman Ryan's conservative reformism will resonate with voters.

6) Blanche Lincoln (AR) - Another potential casualty of the liberal social policies of the Obama administration is the Senior Senator from Arkansas.  A moderate in the mold of former Governor Bill Clinton, Ms. Lincoln nontheless hails from a socially conservative state that could serve as ground zero in a backlash against liberal social policies of the Obama administration.  Any attempt to pack the federal judiciary with liberal judges could give Arkansans pause about unfettered Democrat control of government in a state that in 2004 voted overwhelmingly against homosexual marriage.

Potential Candidate: Mike Huckabee.  The popular former Governor and Presidential Candidate is the natural selection (evolution pun intended) in this culturally conservative and economically nervous state.  The Baptist Minister could appeal to voters as a check on President Obama's judicial appointments.  Additionally, as a former Presidential candidate, Gov. Huckabee would have access to a national fundraising network among evangelical Christians.  Finally, his national profile would increase dramatically interest in this race.

7) Patty Murray (WA) - Where abortion threatens Democrats in the midwest, Federal Land use policies threaten Democrats in the west.  If the Obama administration, like the Clinton and Carter administrations before it, impose environmental regulations that significantly impede economic activity on Federal Lands, a severe voter backlash could topple the Gentlelady.  Finally, Ms. Murray's support for cap and trade legislation could cost her support in economically troubled times.

Potential Candidate: Congressman Dave Reichart.  The tenacious former Sheriff of King County, perennial Democrat target, has consistently won narrow victories in his Seattle area district that voted for Al Gore, John Kerry, and Barack Obama.  While Congressman Reichart's tactical brilliance is unquestioned, his appeal to conservatives lies in the fact that he consistently wins in a majority Democrat district without grandstanding against his own party.  Reichart's libertarian style conservatism allows him to compete in socially liberal Washington while also allowing his to oppose taxpayer funded abortion for budgetary reasons.

8) Barbara Mikulski (MD) - As a very liberal Democrat from a very liberal state, Mikulski should be heavily favored for re-election.  Unfortunately for the incumbent, she is left vulnerable by a speaking style and public persona that can charitably be described as boring, leaving her vulnerable to a charismatic challenger.

Potential Candidate: Michael Steele is the only reason Republicans have a shot at this seat.  Given this reality, Steele should run for the Senate, not the RNC chair.  The former Lieutenant Governor and current head of GOPAC gave a rousing address at this year's Republican National Convention where he spoke movingly about how conservative reforms like school choice benefit lower and middle income families, especially minorities.  Steele gives Republicans the opportunity to craft a reformist economic message that resonates across racial and ethnic lines.  Steele also is the only opportunity Republicans have to neutralize the racial issue heading into 2012.  Steele is a special talent and Republicans should do everything they can to keep him in the national spotlight.

9) Harry Reid (NV) - Republicans have a history of successfully targeting Democrat congressional leadership.  As Reid has become an increasingly partisan national figure, his home state approval ratings have plummeted.  While an influx of liberals  from California moved the state to Obama in 2008, Reid's tenure as majority leader has provided his opponents with plenty of ammunition to use against him.  In addition, given his leadership role in the Washington D.C.'s majority party, Reid is especially vulnerable to the land use issues that will threaten all Western Democrats.  95% of the land in Nevada is owned by the Federal Government.

Potential Candidate: Melody "Mimi Miyagi" Damayo.  The lack of another standout conservative reformer in the state paves the way for Damayo, who placed third in the Republican Primary for Governor in 2006.  While her previous work as an actress in the adult entertainment industry will give many conservatives pause, no one can deny that she was a wildly successful entreprenneur in an intensely competitive industry.  Besides, having a Porn Star on the ticket can only help a party that just lost among 18-29 year old men.

10) Ken Salazar (CO) - Much like his fellow Western Democrats, Federal Land Use issues pose a deep threat to the re-election effort of Colorado's senior senator.  Coloradans have never liked Federal Bureaucrats telling them how to use resources found in their own communities.  Additionally, Obama's fiscal policies threaten Salazar in this historically tax-o-phobic state.

Potential Candidate: Anyone but Tancredo.  Given that this race will probably turn on either national or regional concerns, any Republican with a pulse should make this race competitive.  That said, Tom Tancredo is a lunatic with a massive ego who will lose this seat if nominated.

Keeping a majority coalition together is one of the most difficult feats to accomplish in politics.  Republicans learned this lesson in 2005; Democrats could easily learn it next year.  As issues change, so do the desires of voters.  The fact that issues and times change puts structural limits on any political majority.  Additionally, given that Democrats now control the executive branch, certain issues Republicans used successfully in the 1990's become relevant again.  If Republican are smart, recruit good candidates, and expand the electoral playing field, 2010 can be a very good year.

OP ED : Obama Fannie & Freddie!!

Many investors are nervous because of the current
uncertainty in the stock market, and the general lack of liquidity in the
financial markets. Now, however, is NOT the time to sell. There are some unique
buying opportunities in a market that has lost 20% of its value. If you can avoid the herd mentality fueled by
the same type of speculation that caused this crisis, there are good profits to
be gained in the future - if you are prudent and patient. The American economy
is still the strongest in the world. Success from Wall Street to Main Street,
however, may have something to do with who is elected President in 2008.


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