Thursday, October 21, 2010

Barney Frank: The Man in Full

Fannie, Freddie, Frank, and fiction

BARNEY FRANK can be ruthless in debate, especially when laying into opponents who try to evade the historical record. But as he pursues a 16th term in the US House, Frank seems to be attempting a little evasion of his own.

Dude, show some respect

Frank belittles members of Congress. He berates Capitol Hill staffers. It’s not that he doesn’t suffer fools; he doesn’t really suffer anyone.

Now that he’s in his first competitive reelection campaign in 28 years, fending off justifiable questions over his role in the collapse of the housing market and a candidate good at asking them, Frank has toned down his act.

Is Barney Frank?

You would be hard pressed to find a politician who is less frank than Congressman Barney Frank. Even in an occupation where truth and candor are often lacking, Congressman Frank is in a class by himself when it comes to rewriting history in creative ways. Moreover, he has a lot of history to rewrite in his re-election campaign this year.

No one contributed more to the policies behind the housing boom and bust, which led to the economic disaster we are now in, than Congressman Barney Frank.

Is Barney Frank?: Part II

Among long-time politicians who are being seriously challenged for the first time this election year, Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts best epitomizes the cynical ruthlessness which hides behind their lofty rhetoric.

Having been a key figure in promoting the risky mortgage lending practices imposed by the federal government on lenders, and on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy these risky mortgages from the lenders, Barney Frank blamed the resulting collapse of financial markets and the economy on everybody except Barney Frank.

This one is a two-fer: Frank as greenhouse gas hypocrite and Frank the "financial reformer" cadging rides on the private jet of a hedge fund plutocrat:


That's just the new stuff. There is plenty more in these older posts and their links:
Barney Frank

An unsurprising headline that should shock us all

Frank has been a walking disaster for some time and not just on the financial system. He also managed to hinder out anti-terror efforts:

From Gerald Posner's Why America Slept

"[In March 1987], the ABCC [Alien Border Control Committee] had its first notable success. The CIA tipped off the FBI to a group of suspected Palestinian terrorists in Los Angeles. The Bureau arrested eight men. But instead of being lauded, the Bureau and the Agency came under harsh attack from civil liberties groups who argued that the ABCC should be banned from using any information the CIA gained from the government's routine processing of visa requests. Congressman Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who was a strong advocate of protecting civil liberties, led a successful effort to amend the Immigration and Nationality Acts so that membership in a terrorist group was no longer sufficient to deny a visa. Under Frank's amendment, which seems unthinkable post-9/11, a visa could only bedenied if the government could prove that the applicant had committed an act of terrorism. Rendered toothless by the Frank amendment, the Reagan administration had virtually no way to block entry visas even when there was information linking the individuals to terrorist groups."

And let's note this gem from the always astute (he is, really, just ask him) David Frum:

I say "aye" to the proposed national debt bailout - and a big shout out to Rep. Barney Frank, one of its early authors, who has been a prescient early voice on the need for a big solution to a big problem.

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