So how exactly did everything go for Dubya last night in Michigan (as a follow up to this earlier post)?
Well (from this AP/WaPo story)…
About eight people protested Bush’s appearance outside the venue, carrying signs that called him a murderer and a traitor.
God bless them for their efforts. And what exactly did Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History have to say?
He talked about the economy, blaming “a lack of responsible regulation” in the lending industry for the recession and said that the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., or Freddie Mac, shouldn’t have engaged in certain financial practices.
“I don’t want to sound like a self-serving guy, but we did try to rein them in,” Bush said.
I think this post does a really great job of explaining the “cause and effect” behind the Gramm-Leach-Bliley atrocity signed into law by President Clinton (with Daily Kos poster RachelMO quite rightly noting that the Repugs had enough votes to override a Clinton veto), which ended up creating a demand for mortgage-backed securities.
To feed that demand, President 43 and his Republican playmates did their best to loosen restrictions on home ownership through the so-called American Dream Downpayment Act in 2003 (subsequent to making riskier loan products available to minority and low income buyers), and the Zero-Down Payment Initiative in 2004, which “(eliminated) the statutory requirement of a minimum three percent down payment for FHA-insured single-family mortgages for first-time homebuyers.”
“Rein them in” my ass, you fraud!
So where are we now in this mess? Well, as the New York Times tells us here (h/t Atrios)…
More defaults by unemployed homeowners could shunt more houses onto an already saturated market, economists said, dragging prices down farther.
“We’re still caught in this vicious cycle,” said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight. “These numbers were horrible, and they’re going to get worse. This problem’s going to be with us for a while.”
And what exactly does Dubya miss now that he’s no longer taking up space in An Oval Office?
Flying on Air Force One, eating meals prepared by the White House kitchen staff and drawing inspiration from his encounters with U.S. military personnel were among things former President George W. Bush missed since leaving office, he said Thursday.
So basically, he misses the trappings of power, and that’s about it.