Rug or punk? You make the call! ... 3:18 P.M.
New research by Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer for Fannie Mae and a housing expert, has found that from the time Fannie and Freddie began buying risky loans as early as 1993, they routinely misrepresented the mortgages they were acquiring , reporting them as prime when they had characteristics that made them clearly subprime or Alt-A. [ Emphasis added ]
"[A]s early as 1993." Hmm. Doesn't that put this alleged routine misrepresentation well before Designated Fall Guy Franklin Raines' tenure as head of Fannie Mae--and back into the watch of Getting-Away-With-It-Because-I'm-Well-Connected-and- Spread-It-Around Mondale campaign manager and initial Obama veep-vetter Jim Johnson ? I think it does! (Johnson was CEO of Fannie Mae from 1991-1998 .) ... P.S.: 'Misrepresented the mortgages ...." Isn't misrepresenation some kind of, I dunno ... fraud or ... crime ? Even if it was done in an arrogant, misguided attempt to extend the American dream of home ownership down the income scale (which maybe had a side effect of justifyiing the high pay of Fannie Mae executives)? ... Just asking! ... [ via Instapundit ] 3:10 P.M.
If that's what Brit Hume thinks why shouldn't he say it? This is my in-depth analysis of Hume/Woods controversy. Carl Cannon has more context . ... 4:23 P.M.
Did Tom Brokaw read this NYT article before going on Meet the Press and claiming it shows the folly of "what happens at UCLA, where they extend life no matter what the cost?" The article actually badly damages the righteous, self-referencing Dartmouth/Orszag/Leonhardt Cult of Curve-Bending , which holds, a la Brokaw, that high-cost hospitals spend more on Medicare without producing results. a) Did you know that the Dartmouth analysis--contrasting the amount spent by U.C.L.A. in the last six months of life with the smaller amount spent by Mayo in Rochester- -doesn't count the money spent on patients who live ?
It can be hard, sometimes impossible, to know which critically ill patients will benefit and which will not.
That distinction tends to get lost in the Dartmouth end-of-life analysis , which considers only the costs of treating patients who have died. Remarkably, it pays no attention to the ones who survive. [E.A.]
And here I thought having patients survive was kind of the whole point. ... b) The NYT 's Abelson gives a cheering example of an instance where U.C.L.A.'s expensive "Hail Mary" worked. ... And Tom Brokaw wouldn't want a doctor who'd throw the Hail Mary? Is there a more benign use of society's resources than throwing medical Hail Mary's? More videogames, maybe? c) Abelson presents several sources of evidence that variations in spending aren't as great as the Dartmouth cult would have it; d) Most important, spending more appears to not necessarily be as wasteful as Orszag and Obama would have us think it is, at least according to one study (commissioned by the expensive California hospitals themselve):
To focus their analysis, the researchers chose to look only at a single category of patients: elderly people with heart failure. The dead would be counted, as Dartmouth does, but so would the living.
What they found seemed to contradict the Dartmouth thesis. The hospital that spent the most on heart failure patients had one-third fewer deaths after six months of an initial hospital stay.
One-third is a huge number, no? ... Yes, the high-cost hospitals paid for the study. But if we're going to start taking things like that into account ...
I'd say Brokaw's comments prove Jack Shafer's point: The biggest corrupting force isn't money, it's consensus--what respectable people believe. These days, they believe the Dartmouth dogma. ... 5:23 P.M.
All the hopes and dreams of the Democratic Party are bound up in the person of one woman: Janet Napolitano! . She must be protected at all costs. ... 2:20 P.M.