The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

So how did we get into this mess?

It was one year ago that the Fed­eral Re­serve took the un­prece­dented step of loan­ing $29 bil­lion to JP Mor­gan Chase af­ter the fi­nan­cial ser vices gi­ant ac­quired Bear Stearns, the once mighty global in­vest­ment bank and bro­ker­age firm that vir tu­ally col­lapsed overnight.

That’s when the plug got pulled from the dam.

“To­day is the an­niver­sary when you might say a lot of this star ted,” Rep. Michele Bach­mann, Min­nesota Repub­li­can and mem­ber of House Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, told In­side the Belt­way on March 16. “It laid the ground­work for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment bail­ing out AIG [Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Group] and the other en­ti­ties that occurred af­ter that.”

Now, the con­gress­woman pointed out, about 80 per­cent of AIG is owned by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

“So you might as well say it has been na­tion­al­ized,” she said. “A lot has hap­pened over this last year.”

She said while it is “egre­gious” that $160 mil­lion in bonuses were set aside for AIG em­ploy­ees, that’s only one is­sue: “To me the big­ger is­sue is what AIG has done with this $170 bil­lion [in fed­eral loans]. No­body re­ally knows. That’s re­ally where the con­ver­sa­tion needs to be.”

Mrs. Bach­mann faulted the House Fi­nan­cial Ser vices Com­mit­tee, chaired by Rep. Bar­ney Frank, Mas­sachusetts Demo­crat, and the Se­nate Bank­ing Com­mit­tee, chaired by Sen. Christo­pher J. Dodd, Con­necti­cut Demo­crat, for still not see­ing to “re­forms” of the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try.

“That’s the out­rage that we need to fo­cus on,” she said. “The Amer­i­can tax­payer is pay­ing a high price for the sin of gov­ern­ment — the fact that gov­ern­ment . . . has yet to re­form it­self . . . We still haven’t seen a full ex­am­i­na­tion of how we got into this mess.” ex­plained that when you own a name like “Barack Hus­sein Obama,” one way to cut a deal be­tween Is­rael and the Mid­dle East is to bring leaders like Mrs. Clin­ton into the fold.

As for the sec­ond model, Mr. Matthews said his­tory tells the new pres­i­dent it’s im­por­tant to act quickly: Mr. John­son and Mr. Rea­gan, he noted, wasted lit­tle time car­ry­ing out man­dates dur­ing their first months in of­fice.

Con­cer ning the Chicago model, “They are re­ally tough,” Mr. Matthews said of Windy City politi­cians. “The way they deal with Repub­li­cans is to ig­nore that they are there.” Garfield Street North­west in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., tells In­side the Belt­way that a pair of deputy U.S. mar­shals paid him a visit March 13 af­ter he had writ­ten a let­ter to U.S. District Court Judge James Robert­son re­gard­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s cit­i­zen­ship con­tro­versy.

Judge Robert­son this month threw out a law­suit ques­tion­ing whether Mr. Obama was a na­tive-born Amer­i­can ci­ti­zen, and there­fore qual­i­fied un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion to be pres­i­dent.

The judge ruled that the el­i­gi­bil­ity ques­tion has been dragged through the mud long enough.

“The is­sue of the pres­i­dent’s cit­i­zen­ship was raised, vet­ted, blogged, texted, twit­tered, and oth­er­wise mas­saged by Amer-

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