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Remember how when the financial crisis started the irresponsible homeowners were blamed?

Since then, I found out a few more details about people who get more say so than homeowners

So basically AIG bet money it didn’t have and lost, and all the bailout money we gave it (and any more that we give it) will go to pay off the bookies.

And why the renewed furor at the homeowners? Because the House bill was featuring cram downs.

The provision would allow a bankruptcy judge to reduce a homeowner’s mortgage principal.

That bill also was washed up to make concessions to bankers beholden moderates

At a closed-door meeting of House Democrats last week, Rep. Tauscher voiced strong concerns about the legislation, warning that the initial House bill didn’t go far enough to ensure homeowners try to work with banks

but the banks didn’t like it, and now interestingly Harry Reid doesn’t like it either

Senate Majority Leader Reid said today he would drop a cram-down provision from a House-passed banking bill if the language threatened to keep the Senate from passing the overall bill.

Apparently, besides the republicans bankers got to Evan Bayh and other democrats.

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and others that the cram-down bill cannot pass due to opposition from Republicans and some Democratic moderates.

I got my cramdown learning at The Confluence

The bottom line is that the possibility of the cram down being used to restructure principal residence mortgages is one of the most valuable “sticks” society can have to put a check on lender stupidity, negligence and down-right thievery.

As for the blue dogs in the House and Evan Bayah’s group in the senate being called “moderates” here’s a good argument that they are way extremists instead

Again, nearly 2/3 of the American public supports giving assistance to homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments and facing foreclosure. Two-thirds.

So obviously, the Senators who oppose 2/3 of the electorate are… “moderates.”

But they prevail, because they represent Wall Street’s hold on the government – and so far this worked like a charm. They seem to hold all the pieces in the chess game to trump anyone else’s needs: the White House, the Treasury and enough people in Congress.

In other news, The Economist, which endorsed Obama, looks back at Hillary’s quip about on the job training and sees why she was right

His performance has been weaker than those who endorsed his candidacy, including this newspaper, had hoped. Many of his strongest supporters—liberal columnists, prominent donors, Democratic Party stalwarts—have started to question him. As for those not so beholden, polls show that independent voters again prefer Republicans to Democrats, a startling reversal of fortune in just a few weeks.

HILLARY CLINTON’S most effective quip, in her long struggle with Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination last year, was that the Oval Office is no place for on-the-job training. It went to the heart of the nagging worry about the silver-tongued young senator from Illinois: that he lacked even the slightest executive experience, and that in his brief career he had never really stood up to powerful interests, whether in his home city of Chicago or in the wider world. Might Mrs Clinton have been right about her foe?

Geez, Economist, who would have thunk it?

  1. puma.gif picture by Robbedvoter

NYC tabloids are focusing on reality today.

Newsday looks at  the effects of the recession on teachers’ jobs

Metro NY watches Wall Street react to the vague promise of more control

AM NY is advising NY-ers on how to manage their anger over the news (Madoff, bonuses, fare hike), leaving out the big bait and switch of that progressive POTUS everyone thought they were getting

The Daily News is obsessing over the Freedom Fries sequel – merciluffly Port Authority refused to paint a bullseye on the new WTC tower (after all, “World Trade Center” is arrogant enough)

Couldn’t find the cover of the NY Post, but they are onto the same trip, moaning that


And these were the NYC tabloids in one day of the Era of Obama…

After recently announcing that he is open to making friends with the Taliban, Obama ordered 4200 extra troops in Afghanistan – that in addition to the 17,000 sent in February. Politico calls it now “Obama’s war” but they are only quoting Obama’s people:

“He’s gone all in,” said an official briefed on the plan. “This is Obama’s war. He’s pushed all the chips to the center of the table.”

How very brave of him! Someone, please play that speech he made on war once….if they can actually find it. The one that allowed his followers to diss candidates more progressive than Obama.

In a very related story in Roll Call, the liberal caucus in the House feels neglected, the headline being

Liberals Feeling Slighted

Progressive Caucus Still Waiting for Obama Meeting

.One of the shocked comments cited is the guy who spoke with Obama on the phine last year, David Sirota:

“The fact that Obama has spent time courting House Republicans, the most legislatively irrelevant group on the Hill, and still hasn’t met with Progressives, the center core of his party — it’s incredible,

Byt Lynn Woolsey went to the heart of the problem:

“Maybe they think that they can take us for granted, but they can’t,” she said.

Can’t they?

The progressive caucus is the largest ideological fraction in the house – 77 members. But the other caucases were higher maintenance

But moderates have commanded attention by proving they will bring down measures that don’t accommodate their views —a tack Progressives, despite their numbers, have had a harder time pulling off.

“They’re generally not as organized and effective as some of the other caucuses,” one senior Democratic aide said. “You need to make sure you’re organized and effective, and then you have a place to complain.”

And then we come back to the original story: progressives and war. Will they fight now?

There is one flashpoint looming that could help refocus White House attention on the caucus: Obama’s plan to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan. The Progressive Caucus has not yet taken an official position on the proposal and is waiting to hear more details, a source close to the group said.

Well, guess what, progressive caucus: more details have arrived, mostly in the form of extra 4200 troops being sent. And you are going to take a position, when? They are obviously not aware of this as

But Woolsey and a handful of other mostly liberal Democrats sent Obama a letter earlier this month urging him to reconsider.

Okey-dokey then.

Cartoon credit

Last week I predicted Obama will make the bonus tax bill go away.

And indeed, it didn’t even have to go to a veto or senate vote. Turns out that

Democrats prepare to ditch AIG bonus bill

the Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate have signaled they will drop the measure.

On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, “If the [AIG bonus] money is returned, the legislation may no longer be necessary.”

On the Senate side, Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday said the chamber would delay consideration of its version of the House bill until sometime next month—supposedly to allow Republicans more time to study the legislation.

It was that easy. All it took was some “uneasiness” from Obama created by Wall Street. From then on, it was all political theater, including the so called hearing in the House on AIG bonuses.

As for the AIG bonuses, the hearing produced no new revelations. Geithner continued to claim that he knew nothing of the bonuses until March 10. This in spite of published reports in major newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal documenting that his aides—both when he served as president of the New York Federal Reserve and since becoming treasury secretary—discussed, approved and helped to draft the AIG executive bonuses.

Bernanke said that he was aware of the AIG bonuses, but claimed that Federal Reserve attorneys had told him he had no ability to block their disbursal. Geithner and Bernanke both argued that the AIG bonuses were contractually guaranteed, and therefore could not be touched.

As for the claim that the lack regulatory authority caused all this…

The claim that the AIG collapse was caused by a lack of regulatory authority is self-serving. In fact, the federal bodies with powers to monitor the financial industry—including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve—not only turned a blind eye to the financial skullduggery of AIG and scores of other firms, they actively encouraged it.

So, now the political 3 steps are completed, and the posturing is concluded, we are back to where we started: Wall Street rules the government just like in Bush times. And I have yet to hear anyone in the media utter words such as “waffle” or flip-flop”.

Updating it as of May 22

A criminal probe into AIG was dropped for no apparent reason

Only Newsday put the Obama press conference on the cover – easy for them – they’re in Long Island.

In NYC, reality interfered with the feel-good make-believe on the teevee.

Cheerleading Daily News was willing, but only third of a page

.And NY Post is fashioning itself as activists


Not Your Sweetie

March 2009
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