Here's what they write today:
On the "Watch List": Dan Onorato and Luke Ravenstahl. The Allegheny County chief executive and the mayor of Pittsburgh have begun an eight-month push to bolster census-response rates. Indeed, an accurate count is to the benefit of all. But here's a critical question for them:ACORN and the census. ACORN and the subprime mess. (At least they didn't say that ACORN was accused of "voter fraud." They got that part right, at least.)
Do they support the involvement of ACORN in the survey process? That would be the same ACORN that's accused in a number of states, Pennsylvania included, of voter registration fraud. That would be the same ACORN that aided the subprime mortgage mess by bullying banks to lend to those with dubious financial means.
First on the census. ACORN is one of the groups partnering with the Census bureau and, as FactCheck.org wrote:
Each partner group is asked to complete a form listing a series of possible activities with which it would be willing to help. ACORN's form is on page 48 of a package of documents that was turned over to the watchdog group Judicial Watch by the Census Bureau under the Freedom of Information Act. ACORN checked off, among other items, "identify job candidates and/or distribute and display recruiting materials" and "provide space to train new [census] employees." But government officials have made it clear that that's a far cry from having ACORN hire workers and conduct the census.Heck, FactCheck even quotes Commerce Secretary Gary Locke saying:
[T]he Census will not be hiring anyone from ACORN. We use these so-called partners to get the word out and to spread the word about the need for people to respond and answer the questionnaires. ...We control the hiring. We do not use any government funds to subcontract with any organization to do any activity. ...We are not delegating anything to ACORN.I guess the Trib's Editorial Board didn't do its homework. Again.
On the subprime mess, there's this from Daniel Gross at Newsweek. In a healthy debunking of the rightwing deflection on the causes of the subprime mortgage crisis:
The thesis is laid out almost daily on The Wall Street Journal editorial page and in the National Review. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer provides an excellent example, writing that "much of this crisis was brought upon us by the good intentions of good people." He continues: "For decades, starting with Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, there has been bipartisan agreement to use government power to expand homeownership to people who had been shut out for economic reasons or, sometimes, because of racial and ethnic discrimination. What could be a more worthy cause? But it led to tremendous pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—which in turn pressured banks and other lenders—to extend mortgages to people who were borrowing over their heads. That's called subprime lending. It lies at the root of our current calamity." The subtext: if only Congress didn't force banks to lend money to poor minorities, the Dow would be well on its way to 36,000. Or, as Fox Business Channel's Neil Cavuto put it: "I don't remember a clarion call that said: Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster."A few paragraphs later there's this rhetorical question:
Let me get this straight. Investment banks and insurance companies run by centimillionaires blow up, and it's the fault of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and poor minorities?
Did AIG plunge into the credit-default swaps business with abandon because ACORN members picketed its offices?Oh wingnut, please.