Click It or Ticket

Monday, September 21, 2009

Giving Mortgages to Illegals? More Michelle Malkin

ACORN’s illegal alien home loan racket

By Michelle Malkin • September 18, 2009 08:33 AM

My column today blasts ACORN Housing Corporation’s criminal-enabling home loan program for illegal aliens. To paraphrase Jon Stewart: Where the hell is everyone?

AHC is one of the endless non-profit arms of ACORN. Their response to the sting videos hasn’t received as much attention as the national ACORN flagship’s. You can read AHC’s CYA reaction here.


ACORN’s illegal alien home loan racket
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

There’s one thing more shocking than the illegal alien smuggling advice that an ACORN official in San Diego gave undercover journalists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles. It’s the illegal alien criminal racket that ACORN has already been operating with the full knowledge of the U.S. government.

On Wednesday, O’Keefe and Giles published the fifth in a series of sting videos. ACORN official Juan Carlos Vera coached the pimp-and-prostitute-posing pair on how best to pull off a border-busting smuggling operation. It would be “better from Tijuana,” he counseled on videotape. Carlos Vera then generously offered the investigative couple his Mexican “contacts” to bring 12 illegal alien girls into the country for prostitution.

GOP California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger now wants an investigation. But neither the Terminator nor any other California public officials raised a peep when the very same San Diego ACORN office publicly announced a partnership with Citibank to secure home loans for illegal aliens. In 2005, Citibank and ACORN Housing Corporation – which has received tens of millions of tax dollars under the Bush administration alone — began recruiting Mexican illegal aliens for a lucrative program offering loans with below-market interest rates, down-payment assistance and no mortgage insurance requirements. Instead of Social Security numbers required of law-abiding citizens, the program allows illegal alien applicants to supply loosely-monitored tax identification numbers issued by the IRS.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that “undocumented residents” comprise a vast market representing a potential sum of “$44 billion in mortgages.” Citibank enlarged its portfolio of subprime and other risky loans. ACORN enlarged its membership rolls. The program now operates in Miami; New York City; Jersey City, N.J.; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Bridgeport, Conn., and at all of ACORN Housing’s 12 California offices. San Diego ACORN officials advised illegal alien recruits that their bank partners would take applicants who had little or no credit, or even “nontraditional records of credit, such as utility payments and documentation of private loan payments.”

The risk the banks bear is the price they pay to keep ACORN protesters and Hispanic lobbyists from the National Council of La Raza screaming about “predatory lending” off their backs. These professional grievance-mongers have turned the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act – which forced lenders to sacrifice underwriting standards for “diversity” – into lucrative “business” opportunities. Or rather, politically correct blackmail. As the Consumer Rights League noted in a 2008 report on the group’s successful shakedowns of financial institutions, “an agreement with Citibank, a significant ACORN donor and partner, showed that some activists become less active when deals are in place.”

In the wake of the sting videos, ACORN officials are making a great show of clamoring for “reform.” ACORN chief executive Bertha Lewis blamed the debacles across the country on the “indefensible action of a handful of our employees.” But the corruption is systemic. ACORN has long thrown rank-and-file operatives under the bus to cover for its management’s indefensible conduct. And ACORN’s highly-touted advisory watchdogs include inherently conflicted foxes guarding the henhouse:

ACORN advisory council member Henry Cisneros resigned from his post as Clinton HUD Secretary after lying to FBI agents about payments to a former mistress.

ACORN advisory council member Andy Stern is president of the SEIU, the Big Labor organization plagued by embezzlement scandals and inextricably linked to ACORN’s disgraced founder Wade Rathke. (And see my document drop here on ACORN’s “nurturing” of SEIU Local 100.)

And ACORN advisory council member Eric Eve of Citigroup is a champion of the ACORN/Citibank illegal alien loan program that openly undermines immigration laws and integrity in banking.

The truth is more sordid than any fictional scenarios caught on tape: ACORN is a criminal enterprise.

ACORN and Obama, Courtesy of Michelle Malkin

Obama plays dumb on ACORN

By Michelle Malkin • September 20, 2009 11:21 AM

Photoshop credit: Leo Alberti

Channeling clueless Charlie Gibson and Nancy Pelosi, President Obama is playing dumb about ACORN. Here’s what he said on ABC’s This Week this morning:

STEPHANOPOULOS: But have your — have some of your allies made it easier for — handed your opponents some ammunition, like ACORN, for example…

OBAMA: Well, look, the — you know, I think that — are there folks in the Democratic camp or on the left who haven’t — haven’t always operated in ways that I’d appreciate? Absolutely.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congress said they should cut off all funding for ACORN.

OBAMA: Is — is — is…

STEPHANOPOULOS: … all funding for ACORN. Are you for that?

OBAMA: Is that true on the other side, as well? Of course that’s true.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about the funding for ACORN?

OBAMA: You know, it’s — frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Both the Senate and the House have voted to cut it off.

OBAMA: You know, what I know is, is that what I saw on that video was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re not committing to — to cut off the federal funding?

OBAMA: George, this is not the biggest issue facing the country. It’s not something I’m paying a lot of attention to.

It strains credulity — no, it snaps credulity in half — to believe Obama “didn’t even know” that ACORN was “getting a whole lot of federal money” given his extensive legal services on behalf of the group and training for its voter education arm, Project Vote. (Go re-read my column from June 2008, “The ACORN Obama knows,” and all the links for a refresher course.)

Repeat after me: Obama is ACORN. ACORN is Obama. Barack Obama can no more disown ACORN than he could disown his own shadow.

Now that the White House supports an investigation, Congress should make sure to investigate:

1) How Team Obama hid its $800,000 campaign payment to ACORN through front group “Citizen Services, Inc.”;

2) How Team Obama shared donor lists with the president’s old employer, ACORN affiliate Project Vote, a 501(c)(3) organization, which is prohibited from engaging in political activity (Mr. President, meet Anita MonCrief);

3) And how Project Vote and hundreds of myriad entities intermingled non-profit, tax-exempt funding with the national ACORN flagship’s political operations — a buried story Obama would know about if he read NYTimes reporter Stephanie Strom’s report last October before she was muzzled as Election Day drew near.

Bring it on.

My comments: Once again our fearless leader only knows or pretends to know what he wants to know or hear. He plays ostrich when it's convenient and later says that we need to investigate Acorn. Sure...but he'll be sure the investigation is superficial and doesn't uncover too much because of his past dealings with ACORN, although we already seem to know much about that. Hmm...has the nut fallen right on the tree in this case?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Start a Fire and Charge the Rate Payers

San Diego Gas and Electric, often referred to as San Diego Gouge and Extort, has come up with yet another way to shift the burden away from their shareholders and on to the backs of their customers. Charge them for the costs of the lawsuits they lost as a result of their alleged negligence in the huge wildfires in San Diego County! My God, man, isn't that akin to an arsonist charging you for the cost of their matches?

I realize they didn't start the fires intentionally, and that SDG&E are not arsonists, but both Cal-Fire and the California Public Utilities Commission has determined that three of the worst fires, the Witch, Guejit0 and Rice Fires, were caused by SDG&E's power lines malfunctioning during Santa Ana winds. Those malfunctions caused destruction of thousands of acres of wildland and over a thousand homes.

So, now we receive word that SDG&E and Southern California Gas Company, Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison are asking for a rate increase, called the Wildfire Claims Cost Recovery, that will allow them to recoup uninsured costs associated with wildfires. Even as a result of their own alleged negligence? Isn't that sweet? Here's what their bill insert says:

"In the face of a potential insurance crisis that may limit the utilities' ability to obtain insurance coverage, the application asks for CPUC to approve for each utility to establish a Wildfire Expense Balancing Account (WEBA) to record for future recovery all uninsured costs arising from wildfires, including:

  1. Payments to satisfy wildfire claims, including any, co-insurance and deductible expense paid by the utilities;
  2. Outside legal costs incurred in the defense of wildfire claims;
  3. Premiums for insurance against wildfire claims;
  4. The cost of financing these amounts"
In my way of thinking, this is like asking a judge to allow a negligent or drunk driver to receive fees from the parties he hit in an accident, to pay for his increased insurance costs, and to pay for legal defense costs in the event he gets sued again for negligent or drunk driving! Only every ratepayer will be paying these fees, including those who lost their homes and property in past fires resulting from malfunctions in utility equipment or lines.

Sure they are getting nailed with increased insurance costs. If you are deemed negligent, insurance companies raise your premium, or find you an unacceptable risk and do not want you. That's the facts of life. So the utilities want the ratepayers to cover the big insurance costs because they screwed up? Is that part of this message? Once again, pass the guilt on to the people who rely upon you for services and have nowhere else to turn for the product.

And, what's this about the gas utilities joining in? What do they know that we don't know? Are they concerned that regulators and gas transmission lines will turn into blowtorches and incinerators in the event of a wildfire? If so, why not get off the dime and be sure that can't happen, rather than get the ratepayers to cover their costs for any losses they might incur.

What happened to big business standing the losses they incur? Don't tell me or any other ratepayer that SDG&E isn't making money. Pass the expenses on to the stockholders just like every other corporation does. You make some money, you lose some money. Most of the time you seem to be rolling in the dough and whenever you get a chance you're squeezing the ratepayer with some scheme to suck more money out of their pocket. Spending money stuffing the mail with energy saving tips while raising the rates. Shame on you.

Yup, San Diego Gouge and Extort hits it right on the nail head. What the hell happened when corporations had a conscience? Oh, wait, that was way back when the government lost theirs too....

Tha California Public Utilities Commission should say NO loud and clear to these utilities; tell them to grow up and stand on their own two feet. Cut payments to their shareholders. Let the fat cats in the big offices take a cut in salary; lay off some of the administrative help like the rest of the busineses have had to do. . And., maybe slow down the SDG&E trucks we see driving at 20 plus miles over the speed limit and save some fuel costs that could help keep our bills in check. And save wear and tear on the trucks too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Politicians all Lie...So What's the Problem?

If you simply remove all doubt about the veracity of any and all politicians, and understand there is always going to be a time that they will lie, you won't wonder if they are telling the truth. You will always wonder if they are lying or not and disbelieve just about everything they say. The only question is exactly what part of the truth they have distorted or put a "spin" on to make it a lie, or so far from the truth that it really isn't the truth but they want to make believe it really is. You remember the old adage.."How can you tell if a politician is lying? Their mouth is moving!" Unless they're a good ventriloquist, that's probably true.

Take Bill Clinton. Please take him! You remember the immoral ex-president who "never had sex" with Monica Lewinsky. Now he's saying that Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst telling Obama "you Lie" was "racially motivated"? What a jerk. The same Bill Clinton who couldn't tell the truth if it smacked him in the face like an open book, written in first grade language? The same Bill Clinton who was disbarred from the US Supreme Court and who had his Arkansas law license suspended for five years in 2001? The same Bill Clinton who is the subject of many pieces, both online and off detailing nothing but lies emanating from him and his cabinet and his cover ups? And he has the balls to accuse anyone of anything? During his wife's campaign, he did everything he could to smear Obama (who I am not defending incidentally) and now wants to jump on the political bandwagon once again, by denigrating Wilson for his remark.

You GO, Joe! Maybe it wasn't in great decorum to make that remark, but you were right on target. We the people are sick and tired of the lies, and the run around, from the mealy-mouthed politicians who tell us things that are blatant lies and untruths, then backpedal, and can't remember the crap they told us before, stating we just didn't understand what they said. Or in Obama's words, he should have "calibrated" it differently.

They have enough hot air to float the entire state of New Mexico, let alone the balloons that race there!