"This is so tacky. A government-sponsored Enron," says Susan Lee of an increasingly serious investigation of Fannie Mae, mortgage finance giant. Particularly tacky, says Lee, are comments of CEO Franklin Raines this week: "If it falls apart we're going to help you, don't worry." Exactly what he said eight months ago when the government began the investigation, says Lee. "The government ended up having to subpoena the information," and later turned the matter over to the Justice Department, she adds.
Florida officials were indignant this week after former president Jimmy Carter made comments about the readiness of the state to hold sound elections. Dorothy Rabinowitz says the only thing flawed in the situation is Carter's reasoning. "He's been going around the world inspecting elections in various dubious places," she says. "And he has made an equation between places where the most brutal terror reigned during elections and the state of Florida. Let us hope when he lands in these various places, including Mozambique, that Mr. Carter will be relieved of the burden of the shame over American democracy."
Daniel Henninger awards a tacky to Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who said this week:
"There is an urgent need to stop tarnishing the Muslim world by unfair stereotypes. Most damaging of all is the increasing tendency to attribute linkages between international terrorism and Islam." Not what he'd hope to hear from the Malaysian leader, says Henninger. "The Prime Minister made these statements at the United Nations, John Kerry's favorite international institution, over on the East River, not more than three miles from a 16-acre hole in the ground called Ground Zero. What we need less of is people like Prime Minister Abdullah trying to rationalize homicidal Islamic terrorism instead of leading the fight to stop it."