Friday, December 21, 2012

A Nest of Vipers

In my last blog, I discussed the fact—unknown to me previously—that individuals working in federal Offices of the Inspector General, including the IG himself/herself are permitted to carry badges and firearms, if so approved by the US Attorney General.

The most recent report I saw, from four years ago, said that there are more than 3000 gun packing IG staffers throughout Uncle Sam’s world. I suspect that number is higher today.

Damn! That a ton of highly questionable firearms for jobs that seldom, if ever, require force backed by weaponry or are danegrous. But this piece is not about clerks with guns.

What that blog also produced was a variety of incoming communications about Fannie’s and Freddie’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and specifically its Office of Inspector General, which Steve Linick heads.

The most jarring message I read had to do with the size of Linick’s operation. The FHFA IG has some 150 employees (“some with badges and guns,” as Linick reminded GSE employees about a year ago) in an agency which has a non-OIG staff of barely over 500 people.

Sharp minds understand that IGs are supposed to look primarily inward at the workings of his own agency. Yet this guy needs 150 people—or one IG staffer for every 3.5 FHFA colleagues—to make sure they are doing their job?

Well, the answer is “yes” and “no.”

IG Linick Is......

It seems Sheriff Steve sees his mission as far broader than just making sure his parent agency does all of the right things. He thinks he needs to make sure that Fannie and Freddie also do the right things, whatever those are, and ergo has built an IG team to oversee that, meaning built a team to do duplicate what FHFA itself is supposed to do.

So, you have 500 FHFA overseers watching Fannie and Freddie and then you have 150 IG staff watching the “watchers,” plus now aggrandizing authority to watch Fannie and Freddie? And some of the latter “watchers” have badges and guns.

Buehler, Buehler???

What’s wrong with this picture?

FHFA insiders—and I am not one—speak ill of Linick, as do many in Fannie and Freddie. They question his priorities and believe Linick’s all about trying to embarrass his boss, current acting FHFA director Ed DeMarco, with a bunch of “chicken*** reports.”

Is DeMarco the Target??

Now all of this needs to be played against the background of a DeMarco who has earned praise from F&F types as well as certain GOP Senators, but seems to be held in minimum high regard by some in the Treasury and the Obama WH, who reportedly want to jettison DeMarco, but can’t rid themselves of him.

Is Linick marching to his own drummer or is he doing some dirty work for the Administration?

One conjecture is that Linick’s formal reports, produced by his large and “well armed” staff, are all about putting a vocational hit on acting Director DeMarco.

I wonder if all of those Capitol Hill denizens--who worry if Fannie and Freddie will repay their federal debts--will wake up to the fact that since F&F pay for all of their regulatory overhead, the two entities could save much more money, faster, if they weren’t paying for a unusually large FHFA OIG staff?

But carefully constructed fiefdoms don’t get shrunk in DC, they just grow like Topsy, no matter how lame the justification.

WSJ On The Case

As I got into this issue, I found out that a year ago, Nick Timiraos, writing in the WSJ, covered much of this story, including the IG’s staff bloat, internecine conflicts and the FHFA’s schisms.

Many would see little changing in a year.

(See Timiraos link below.)

By law, since 1992, Fannie and Freddie have paid for their regulator’s total budget. Beginning in 2013 (in just a few weeks), every dollar the two earn now will go right into Treasury coffers and help reduce the deficit.

Cut down on Fannie’s and Freddie’s overhead expenses and you increase what goes back to Uncle Sam.

Congress, if you are trying to reduce taxpayer spending and lower the federal deficit, look at FHFA  and shrink the biggest semi-independent unit inside it.

Solid savings might be had there without harming the two financial engines due to produce major Treasury cash.

The Congress should keep in mind the threatening braggadocio,  which the Mexican banditos affirmed in the movie "Blazing Saddles," and apply that worthy skinflintery to the Federal Housing Finance Agency IG’s office.

"We don't need no stinkin' badges."

A Stubborn, Muleheaded, and Dangerous House

Congress is lazy, always waiting until the final minute to do anything, often punting on vexing matters they can’t decide and diluting those on which they due agree (see Dodd-Frank).

In a less mysogenistic era, it was said that Congress often “talked like Tarzan but acted like Jane!”

Lobbyists count on that quality and know its endemic to the congressional species, which tries very hard—rhetoric to the contrary—to not gore anyone’s ox, since Members never know when it could happen to them and their favorite interests.

However, this current Congress has an ugly additional element, which I seldom encountered on Capitol Hill—embodied by the Tea Party contingent in the House and a few of their Senate fellow travelers—it’s reckless.

No matter the inherent logic, if the issue doesn’t fit in their tiny little brain square, many House Republicans will oppose  any effort to make it happen. No “grays,” no concessions, just black and white. (Yes, Democrats have their own but far fewer hardliners.)

It’s happening now on these desperate GOP maneuvers on the “fiscal cliff” and the nation will suffer for it and I suspect that the Republican Party will, too.

The TPers, rather than looking at their setbacks in last month’s elections as a sign that their views are not compelling, appear to be doubling down and threatening Speaker John Boehner, too, as he tries to respond to President Obama’s offer of tax and entitlement cuts.

Maybe going home for Christmas--before returning in less than a week--and getting their butts chewed off by their constituents might sober them up. These citizens appear more personally fearful of going over the fiscal cliff than their congressional representatives.

But, as my predictions of a “cliff settlement” before December 31 have been somewhat optimistic, so might this hope.

As we continue to ask God to look out for the tiny victims in Newtown, Connecticut, their families, friends, and community, we also should seek some guidance for these misguided Members of Congress.

Maloni, 12-21-2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Would the IG Shoot Bureacratic Miscreants?

I assume that many of the readers who consume this blog are familiar with various federal government rules and regulations, most of you having toiled for Uncle Sam or worked closely with one or more of our government’s many agencies or departments.

Not all readers, maybe, but most.

As such, like me--who worked on and with Capitol Hill, in federal regulatory agencies, and at Fannie Mae--you are casually aware of most of the laws—not all, but most—which apply to your special interest area or expertise.

Tax lawyers know the codes and the politics of the tax writing committees, “housers” know FHA, Fannie and Freddie, mortgage interest deduction, some banking laws, and agriculture types know about wheat, milk, corn issues, Ag subsidies and on and on.

Now that I’ve built you up for this quiz, here’s the question?
How many of you know that Inspectors General—the internal legal internal  in every major agency throughout the federal government—and/or their deputies are permitted to carry firearms, if they get the specific approval to do so from the Attorney General of the United States?

Here’s the citation.

U.S. Code, Title 5 Appendix

(e) (1) In addition to the authority otherwise provided by this Act, each Inspector General, any Assistant Inspector General for Investigations under such an Inspector General, and any special agent supervised by such an Assistant Inspector General may be authorized by the Attorney General to—

(A) carry a firearm while engaged in official duties as authorized under this Act or other statute, or as expressly authorized by the Attorney General;

I didn’t know this and I was stunned to find out about it. A former DOJ official later told me that many IG’s are eager to carry badges and guns.

This exaggerated blog build up—which hopefully has you waiting with baited breath--is the forward to discuss something I was told last week, which I hope it is not true and is just the product of some diseased mind (other than my own) trying to start trouble or, more likely, throw gasoline on a nascent bureaucratic fire.

The story  is that the Inspector General of a certain federal financial regulatory agency, often mentioned in this blog, sought permission to arm himself in order to properly carry out the IG’s official responsibilities.

The rumor did not relate to the Credit Union Administration (CUA) or the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

If this is unsubstantiated BS designed to harm the purported principal or just mindless bureaucratic chit chat, let me apologize now to anyone feeling maligned in my retelling.

However, if the reverse is the case and this incident is true, someone might want to ask, “What the hell is this all about? What’s this lawyer’s justification?”

I cannot comprehend anything which goes on in said official’s world that can justify packing heat?

Since an IG is almost always looking “inward’ at matters within his agency, does this mean the individual would carry a gun when meeting with his boss, colleagues or junior staff. If so, would the unarmed be aware that one (more?) of their brethren is lethal?

How about if the IG attended a meeting outside the building at one of the institutions the agency regulates, would officials there be told that he is armed? What if he attends a meeting of other agency colleagues?

Are the requests to carry and the AG’s decisions (to grant or reject them) public information?

“Holy MBS Batman, what the hell is this all about?”

“I don’t know, Boy Wonder, but I’d like to!”

I hope most who read this find it as funny and ludicrous as I do.

If anyone can verify this specific story—meaning if it is true and not urban legend-- respond in the comment section of the blog. And, if it  did not happen, please let me know that, also.

(Ooops, just told that the WSJ hinted at this story last year and may have named names.)

Maloni, 12-17-2012

(Please pray for the children in Connecticut, their familes, friends, and community.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Silly Regulators and Scurrilous Banks

In This Corner, Wearing Black Trunks and….”

The world today—as we celebrate the Christmas and Chanukah season—is rent with barbed conflict, some very sober and grave and some……. Well, you decide.

Vicious ongoing disputes--upfront and sub rosa--are occurring:

--between Israel and Palestinian Muslims;

--the Tea Party and the GOP;

--Iran and the US;

--Boston and New York professional sports fans;

--Paul Krugman and Mary Matalin;

--the Roadrunner and Wily Coyote;

--Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian people;

--Democrats versus Republicans;

--Fox News against anyone with a brain or pulse;

--and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Ed DeMarco) and its Inspector General (Steve Linick).


Some  disputes are historical, understandable and bloody, but why are two Fannie/Freddie regulators from-- the same agency-- duking it out?

Nobody is sure. It just may be a “guy” thing or some status envy episode, but it still is weird. (See story link at the end of this segment.)

But, how else do you explain this week’s FHFA’s IG “panties in a knot” report damning the fact that some employees at Fannie and Freddie still are making more compensation than he believes is appropriate? Again, this isn’t more than they were making, just more than Linick thinks they should make.

That’s a cruel and hurtful finding, especially when you realize that the boards and officials at the two entities do not approve their final compensation, since is FHFA’s responsibility, the agency DeMarco runs and where Linick works!

Linick, in effect, just spanked his boss.

It’s like a circular firing squad, but this “gotcha game” is silly and unproductive except for its laugh value.

If Linick’s staff found evidence of deviation from previous pay standards, why not just walk down the hall and tell the boss or DeMarco’s top staffer about that? Why issue a report, generate news and pretty much behave like a bureaucratic ass?

Is this what the nation and the still vulnerable real estate world needs, one guy chewing at the other’s butt over nonsense or is this about Linick seeking a shot at DeMarco’s job when Ed leaves?

If IG Linick believes that less compensation produces more productivity, then he should propose that Fannie’s and Freddie’s back office responsibilities go to the hard working folks at HUD or FHA, where salaries are “government” and lower.

If Linick believes that neither skills or talent to manage trillion dollar mortgage portfolios—while still processing 75% of all of the conventional mortgage written in the nation—are not important, let him propose applying the Civil Service system to all of F&F;

If these aren’t his objectives--and he’s just trying to embarrass his boss--then he just should do his work (no press releases or media reports) and ship his findings to his superiors.

Making it a media show risks driving out more decent people at both enterprises, threatening the excellent progress they’ve made financially turning around Fannie and Freddie and their quality systemic efforts.

Anyone who might take heart from Linick’s work needs reminded—after recent Treasury machinations--that Fannie and Freddie, together, are required to tithe all of their profits to the government, beginning next year, and annually pour between $15 billion and $25 billion into Treasury’s coffers.

So the IG should be careful at what he targets, he could hit something vital.

But, I have a far better suggestion. Go old school men.

Linick and DeMarco just should drop the jawing, meet on FHFA’s roof and go “fist City.” Settle your dispute in a way both will understand—and the media, too--after one fails to get up from the asphalt because of the beating the other gives him.

(Here’s a link to the link to Washington Post article on this matter.)

HSBC Did What??

Is anyone else as PO’d as I am about the wanton behavior of HSBC Holdings plc?

Money laundering hundreds of millions (billions?) in Mexican drug cash and, separately, for years hiding thousands of transactions which support Iran and a host of anti-American hostile forces and countries in the Middle East.

For years regulators warned the HSBC that it was weak on compliance and oversight controls and that its was being to used channel Mexican drug proceeds, but the bank did nothing to rectify its problems and instead doubled down on its drug money operations.

Sorry, but just paying a nearly $2 billion fine to US regulatory authorities is a slap on the wrists.

Why is it that?

First, because the bank agreed to it and second, it is an amount that the forces if evil can replace for HSBC quickly, if the latter is inclined to recidivism and can’t wean itself from all of that ill-gotten revenue.

Would an individual, conspiring with America’s enemies and drug lords, be treated so lightly?

Well our SCOTUS claims corporations are people, so why not whack this company big time for its sins.

Go medieval! I would deny them access to the US payments system for a year or two--no matter the corporate consequences--and dent HSBC’s capacity to do business.

That would get the attention of the many other financial institutions, licking their lips, to replace HSBC as a compliant financial drug mule or become the international terrorists’ transactions partner.

(Yes, I know that Standard Chartered plc, another English bank, this week agreed to a $350 million fine for playing financial hidden bookkeeping games with Iran and other Middle Eastern bad guys. They should suffer just like HSBC.)

Maloni, 12-12-2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bank's Good News and Bad News

Gee, the banks are now making lots more money; all’s right with the world, and aren’t we happy?

A variety of reports out this week announced growing commercial bank profits, including making big margins on their mortgage originations, which---while not representing huge increases over previous new mortgages—did generate great profits.

The banks are not doing volumes of new business, just making more on the marginal amount of lending they do; along with the hefty profits they make arbitraging their funds in overnight Federal Reserve funds and buying short term Treasury securities.

Along with the earnings reports, a Wall Street Journal a blog article, by Nick Timaros, caught my attention because of both the bank earnings news and their reported “rich”--meaning high profit--mortgage origination business.

Timaros’ story reported on research papers delivered New York Fed conference this week. One of papers noted that despite all of the reasons cited by banks justifying relatively speaking higher mortgage rates, i.e. higher Fannie and Freddie guarantee fees, Fannie and Freddie demands on loan buy backs (damn those GSEs, still a problem even though they don’t control of their own businesses!), hedging costs related to delays in mortgage processing, and finally banks inability to process and approve a loan applications, none of them singly or together justify the banks hefty spread over their cost of funds.

Banks also argue that the large gap between what they pay for money and what they charge borrowers is because they don’t have the staff capacity to handle all the applications they receive.

Bull pucky!

If they want, banks can hire more people, but they chose not to because the business they are writing—which again isn’t huge—is so rich, why should they waste it on overhead?

Plus, they face no other major competition, since the large banks control the origination process via their in house lenders and their subsidiaries.

Timaros’ article notes that for most of the past decade, the banks’ spread between cost of funds and lending rate was 0.5 percentage points. Since the 2008 financial meltdown, the spread first grew to 1 percent and now it has leaped as high as 1.5%.

Even with the Fed insuring low rates across the board, shouldn’t some/all of the federal bank regulators ask why consumers are being charged so much relative tot he banks cost of money?

As Mr. Timaros wrote, “The upshot, the thinking goes, is that mortgage rates would be even lower if the banks were passing along their lower funding costs to borrowers.”

It can’t be news to the regulators when these developments were presented at a Federal Reserve conference with plenty of banking industry, regulatory observers, plus media, present.

The last time the federal financial regulators ignored a trend, financial institutions—including Fannie and Freddie—went on a subprime mortgage buying binge which threatened financial institutions and nations worldwide.

This pattern of high relative costs to consumers may not rise to that level, but somebody should say something about these unnecessarily high financing costs.
Here's a link to the Timaros article.

Oh, Oh, Elizabeth, Sherrod, and Maxine
(They Ain't a New Girl Singing Group)

The banks might want to reconsider their mortgage profit making (who am I kidding?) and maybe make less net cash with all of their government provided deposits, i.e. federal TARP funds and insured deposits, since a few political personnel moves announced this week suggest some dicey times on Capitol Hill for the big financial services companies.

New Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass)—whose fight for the creation of the Consumer Finance Board, as part of the Dodd-Frank legislation was heavily opposed by the big banks—has been named to the Senate Financial Services Committee, where she joins long time bank critic bank critic Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), On the other side of the Hill, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal) was named senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. (She alone, is a major “Oh, merde!”)

If I was a banking industry exec, those could be the last three congressional Democrats I would want to testify before and explain my institution’s profit structure, especially when the industry publicly put so much money into trying to elect Mitt Romney. I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar financial service industry contributions to Warren’s and Brown’s opponents.

Bankers beware.

I am reminded of warnings, “What goes around…” and “Payback is…!”

Dick Armey and Freedom Works

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and his $8 million golden parachute, was thrust into the news this week when his messy departure from Freedom Works, the right wing Tea Party-sympathetic organization which Armey helped create, earned heavy media coverage.

The exact story still isn’t perfectly clear, but it looks like a nest of scoundrels had a falling out and Armey landed comfortably on an $8 million departure cushion.

Reportedly, leading up to last month’s election, inside Freedom Works Armey for the organization to work more closely with the GOP congressional leaders, a position that Dale Kibbe, the FW president, and other FW officials didn’t support.
Armey then resigned from Freedom Works and took his guaranteed compensation, waiting until this week because his contract called for that payment only if he resigned after the November presidential and congressional elections.
Dick Armey now has cited his “ethical and moral concerns” over the behavior of some FW leaders as a major reason for leaving.
Freedom Works lost several of the high profile races in last month’s elections, when voters rejected their and Tea Party’s incumbents and candidates also were dumped by the electorate.

Dick Armey and Fannie

Armey always was a tough guy for Fannie, but never more than when he traveled the country in the late 90’s (in what some considered his thinly disguised testing of the presidential waters) touting his “flat tax” proposal.

Fannie Mae joined other "housers" to oppose--without mentioning Mr. Armey's name-- the negative homeownership impact that tax proposal would have on those taxpayers who itemized and deducted their mortgage interest costs.

The fact that the ads challenging the “flat tax” appeared in Iowa and New Hampshire really seemed to off the then GOP House Majority Leader Armey.

Armey retaliated by asking the General Accounting Office (GAO) to investigate whether Fannie Mae had First Amendment rights—my phrase not his—and legally could advertise and take positions on issues of the day?

GAO’s answer was “Yes, they do,” which did not mollify the Leader and seemed to put in concrete his opposition to Fannie and Freddie.

Support John Boehner as He Tries to Be Responsible

I’ve predicted a resolution on the “Cliff negotiations” before December 31--press statement wars aside—and I continue to believe Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is attempting to act responsibly, given his constraints.

The GOP's wing nuts are gunning for him because he is talking constructively to the White House. Republicans and Democrats should support Boehner’s efforts.

People who know something about politics realize that any “Cliff deal” is a preliminary to far more significant bipartisan agreements next year or in 2014 regarding additional major spending cuts and substantive tax reforms. The problem isn’t going away.

The Right is wasting a lot of ammunition over a near term fight they will lose, if President Obama lets all of the tax increase become law on Dec. 31, because the right wing zealots in their party won’t let the GOP congressional leadership reach a settlement.

Read about Boehner’s attacks from the Right, link below.

Rick Santorum Does What and the Senate Listened?

I had to throw in this chestnut.

Those Senators who voted “no” on this action are cowards as well as craven. All because the Santorum family has a disabled child and choose to home-school her, while the soon to be ex-Senator believes the UN can deny them that opportunity???

Maloni, 12-7-2012

(“Remember Pearl Harbor,” 71 years ago.)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

President Obama: Big Steps and Go Bold

Cliff Notes

Tim Geithner would not be my choice to negotiate the Administration’s side of the “fiscal cliff” discussions. Despite his title, he doesn’t have the necessary credibility, political savvy, skill or clout; plus the Republicans know he’s a lame duck.

I would trust the President more himself to get the job done, personally. Mix it up Barack, don’t sit back and pontificate.

Grab Speaker John Boehner and the two of you, plus a small group of advisors, get in a room and stay there until you’ve hammered out a deal.

To me, that’s far more preferable and presidential than press release battles.

Since the President, for now, has eschewed this approach and wants an intermediary, my pick would be Obama Chief of Staff Jack Lew, someone whom I consider much more “Washington-smart.” Lew is a man of great integrity and a budget expert whose knowledgeable word on those matters counts. It doesn’t hurt that he is on the President Obama’s short list to succeed Geithner as the next Secretary of the Treasury and smarter than Geithner.

I continue to believe that the sides will agree on a package or the GOP—having failed to awaken and smell the November 6 coffee—will suffer doubly over their insistence of protecting the wealthiest 2% of Americans at the expense of the rest of American and no matter the Republicans seek to spin it that is the reality.

In that context, I believe Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers had an excellent summation of the GOP political status.

And a Politico reporting team has an equally pithy report on a possible “Cliff” outcome.

Reaching Across the Aisle, BO to Mitt and BZ

I hope that the President’s recent lunch with Mitt Romney produces a White House invitation to Romney to take on a serious mission, widely viewed as having substance and merit.

President Obama should advantage of Romney’s managerial and skill business set and turns him loose of a vexing public matter (ala Simpson-Bowles) and hope he succeeds. The mere appointment would send a message to America that one time political opponents can find common ground.

In the same vein—although I think this is a much longer shot—since Susan Rice has wounded herself in the foot and possibly lost her chance to be Secretary of State, President Obama should consider skipping the easy step of sending up Senator John Kerry’s name for the slot, and reach out to the brilliant, but very Republican Bob Zoellick and consider naming the former President of the World Bank to the top US foreign policy position.

(Disclosure: Zoellick is an old friend and former Fannie colleague, where he toiled in two different stints, the second as my boss. He’s a tough SOB to please and his team expectations are high; he’s confident and a solid manager.)

Bringing Zoellick onboard would be a bold, bold move Mr. President and possibly add a meaningful element to your legacy that lesser lights would not. It also would prove “bipartisanship” isn’t just a throwaway line.

Bob Zoellick earned boffo reviews for his World Bank work and—reportedly—had support around the world for a second term, if he wanted to serve again.

Zoellick professional history is excellent. He worked with the renowned Jim Baker at Treasury, holding several senior positions. He was the US Trade Representative for 4 years; is an incisive thinker, who doesn’t suffer fools gladly; seems to work about 26 hours a day; and, as Time Magazine famously quipped, “Zoellick has 30 more IQ points than everybody else.”

He also was the Deputy Secretary of State and later worked with Goldman Sachs when he left government, before being named head of the World Bank in 2007, a term position from which departed last July.

Zoellick is a senior fellow at Harvard, his alma mater and recently was an advisor to the Romney campaign.

Don’t know if he and President Obama could have a meeting of the minds on policy issues, but Zoellick would be a tremendous appointment, who would come onboard only if Zoellick respected the President’s intellect and they shared common views on the Middle East, China, Russia, Korea, and the many hot button issues facing Hillary Clinton’s successor.

Worrying about Fannie? Don’t!

Because of their pivoting and mammoth central financing role, Fannie and Freddie will be in the middle of anything the While House/Congress cooks up to improve housing finance or the status of those paying off underwater loans, many of which are in Fannie’s and Freddie’s mortgage portfolios.

As federal financial regulators seek to define risky and non-risky mortgage qualities—in new regulations soon to see the light of day—Fannie’s and Freddie’s standards and systemic operations will highlight and encourage making those mortgages.

Their current business profits suggest that the Treasury now will reap between $10 Billion to $20 Billion annually from the two, no small amount from which to blithely step away.

Some in the House may call for early Fannie and Freddie hearings but it will be right in the middle of great earnings years, with all of that cash going to Treasury, just as new national policies to insure quality mortgage acquisition will be applied to all lenders, and as the nation looks to housing to help stimulate an economic recovery.

So any partisan hearing designed to kick dead or to pretend that the two caused the 2008 financial meltdown will merely showcase the viciousness of those who promote such deliberations.

However, hearings to educate the relevant committees’ members about how F&F truly operated positively for 30 years--before they deviated and both engaged in undesirable and unnecessary Alt A and subprime mortgage investments--could be a very beneficial educational exercise.

Here’s a link to a recent article suggesting Fannie and Freddie will be with us “forever.”

Learning From History

In my last blog, I suggested that  housing and mortgage finance policy leadersshould analyze three decisions rendered by federal Judge Richard Leon, when he issued summary judgment rulings to three Fannie Mae executive, and removed them from a shareholders’ law suit alleging securities violations.

I wrote then that I felt it was important for people writing legislation to understand the real working of Fannie and Freddie and the why dark clouds still surrounding their pre-2005 operations may be all wrong.

Now, I am going to apply the same suggestion to any GOP officials dissecting the presidential election results to discover ways the party might change itself to insure that it’s not an anachronism as US demographics streak by it.

While I’ve offered my own recommendations in previous post-election blogs, a better idea is for those people who to read and internalize the comments of a Jim Greer, Florida Republican official who candidly discussed how state Republicans sought to suppress Democrat turnout and why? There are the answers to some of the GOP’s challenges.

It boils down to the same reasons why minorities don’t feel comfortable in the Grand Old Party, no matter how much the “regulars” claim that’s not true.

If, as a political party, the GOP tries to keep them away from the ballot box, what does that say to blacks and Hispanics when they consider the Republican Party’s accessibility?

These 2012 GOP election maneuvers scream, “Sure, we’re inviting, but not you!!”

Maloni 12-2-2012